Beetle Kill

February 24, 2015--Will Utah be ready for a drier, hotter climate? (Salt Lake Tribune)

The specter of drought hanging over the Southwest is already pretty dire, with forests drying out into beetle-killed tinderboxes and reservoir levels plunging. But the current dry spell may barely register in comparison with what has happened in the distant past and could happen in the near future, according to research released this month. And we may have ourselves to blame.


February 7, 2015--Aerial survey shows pine beetles waning, but spruce beetles continue to spread across Colorado forests (Summit Voice)

There’s good news and bad news from Colorado’s forests. Mountain pine beetle activity has faded to the lowest level since 1996, but spruce beetles continue to spread in the San Juans and in northwestern Colorado. The spruce beetle outbreak was detected on 485,000 acres in 2014, compared to 398,000 acres across the state in 2013, according to the U.S.


September 19, 2014--How the hot and dry West is killing Rocky Mountain forests (High Country News)

Severe fires, unprecedented bark beetle infestations, heat and drought – all exacerbated by climate change – are killing trees throughout the Rocky Mountains. So whether you’re a fan of New Mexico’s piñon pines, Colorado’s aspens or Montana’s whitebark pines, the West’s forests could look radically different in 50 to 100 years.


September 5, 2014--Forests dying as Rocky Mountains heat up (Beacon)

Nobody paid much attention at first when pine beetles started multiplying in the montane forests of Colorado in the late 1990s. Old-timers had seen it all before; a few years of beetle kill, then a long, hard early winter freeze that killed most of the bugs during their winter larval phase, suppressing numbers back down to an endemic background level.


June 14, 2014--CSU to study water quality impacts of beetle kill (Coloradoan)

Colorado School of Mines have begun a five-year study of the impacts beetle kill forests have on water quality in Colorado. The study, funded by a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation Water Sustainment and Climate Program, will look at the South Platte and Colorado River basins.


May 25, 2014--What if the drought continues for another 10 years? (Arizona Central)

Arizona is into the second decade of drought. A visit to Lake Mead is sobering. Conversations are starting about where the state will get water in the future. We asked two experts: What if the drought continues for another 10 years? Let's assume things continue pretty much like they have for the last decade, but don't get markedly worse.


April 21, 2014--Bark beetles change Rocky Mountain stream flows, affect water quality (National Science Foundation)

Trees in mountains across the western United States are dying, thanks to an infestation of bark beetles that reproduce in the trees' inner bark. Some species of the beetles, such as the mountain pine beetle, attack and kill live trees. Others live in dead, weakened or dying hosts.


February 17, 2014--Delayed but not derailed (Durango Herald)

A turning point in the three-decade battle over Wolf Creek Pass is expected next month, when the U.S. Forest Service will declare its preference on a land exchange with a Texas developer who wants to build a resort village. B.J. “Red” McCombs has been trying since 1986 to build the Village at Wolf Creek at the base of Wolf Creek Ski Area.


November 30, 2013--After the kill, Part 1: Beetle epidemic changed the face of High Country forests (High Country News)

If mountain residents hope to keep building their homes and towns along the wildland-urban interface, they must understand that sudden, drastic change is inevitable and prepare their own properties as best they can.


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