By Shari Phiel
There’s no denying the mountain pine beetle is changing the face of the Rocky Mountain West. From New Mexico up through western British Columbia, this small, black insect the size of a grain of rice is leaving a path of destruction in its wake. In Wyoming and Colorado, ground zero for the infestation, the number of dead trees grew from one million acres in 2006 to 1.5 million acres in 2007 then grew yet again to an estimated two millions acres in 2008.
While biologists and scientists struggle to save the West’s dwindling forests, information about what can be done to save trees along Colorado’s Front Range, now that winds have blown the insects east of Interstate 25, seems to be conflicting.
To talk about the myths and realities of the mountain pine beetle infestation, Chris Casson of the Pine Needle Tea Company, will be hosting a one-hour “Call to Action” on Thursday, May 7 in the lower level conference room at Guaranty National Bank, 807 Mountain Ave. Seating is limited, so those interested in attending should arrive for the meeting scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re trying to inform as many people as we can about what’s going on with the pine beetle infestation and what they can do to defend against it,” said Casson, adding that some people have been told there’s nothing that can be done to fight the insects, which is not accurate.
Topics for the meeting will include the causes of pine beetle infestation, what homeowners can do to mitigate the problem, myths and facts about infestation, and the real cost of tree loss.