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Pine beetle epidemic wanes

Posted: Monday, Feb 24th, 2014

PINEDALE – The pine beetle epidemic that has devastated forests throughout Wyoming – and the western U.S. – is slowing, according to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

“Through our collaborative efforts we are improving the health of forests across Wyoming,” Dan Jiròn, regional forester for the USFS Rocky Mountain region, said in a release. “Restoring forest health and resiliency is a top regional priority, and is guiding the work on forests. In 2013, these projects resulted in enough timber harvested from national forests across the region to construct 25,000 homes.”

Since 1996, more than 4 million acres throughout Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota have been destroyed by the insects.

The pine beetle, native to North America, kills trees by intercepting nutrients and simultaneously contaminating the channels through which nutrients flow. The insect burrows beneath the bark and consumes and disturbs the movement of food and water from a tree’s needles to its roots.

According the USFS, pine beetles fly about the speed a person walks and typically travel less than 300 feet. Young larvae mature throughout the summer and take flight in August.

For the complete article see the 02-25-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-25-2014 paper.

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