Oct 10 2008

Pine Beetle Devastation in Colorado

Published by at 1:41 pm under Colorado,Western U.S.

When we were in Boulder, our friend Paul told us about the mountain pine beetle that is destroying large lodgepole pine trees throughout Colorado.  The beetles have done most of their work on the west side of the continental divide, but recently, they have crossed over to the eastern side as well.  As we drove west from Boulder, it was shocking to see how many trees had been killed by this beetle.  There were some mountains covered in dead trees with reddish-brown needles, instead of healthy green ones.  The beetles have flourished due to a combination of milder weather (even in higher elevations) as well as a prior reluctance to manage the forests through controlled burning.

Experts estimate that within 5 years, all of the mature lodgepole pine forests in Colorado will be dead.  This is a very big issue for Colorado, with potential serious effects on the water supply, wildlife, carbon dioxide emissions, the lumber industry and tourism.

To learn more, here is a link to an article from the Rocky Mountain News on the issue (as you can see from the comments after the article, lots of people have opinions on who is to blame for the increased damage):


Here is a general Wikipedia article on the mountain pine beetle:


– Meredith

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