It won’t be long before the flight season for the mountain pine beetle, causing anxiety for mountain area residents worried about the preservation of their trees.
To that end, the Colorado State Forest Service and the Conifer Area Council are hosting a workshop at Conifer High School on May 12 to provide information about local infestations and to discuss how to mitigate potential impacts.
Speakers during the two-hour program will address the facts and fiction regarding the biology and ecology of the issue, as well as mitigation methods and forest management. They will speak about the opportunities and challenges, the right treatment at the right time, and taking charge by getting involved in the community.
In addition to the presentations by forest service personnel, contractors and representatives of fire protection districts will be available to answer questions on the topic, along with information about projects and services.
What has contributed to the outbreak of mountain pine beetle? Beetle epidemics are a natural part of forest ecosystems, according to the state forest service. However, a combination of old forests, drought, a lack of forest management, years of fire suppression and warm temperatures have all played roles in fueling the current epidemic.
And the increasing number of homes in forested areas has also complicated matters. When fires are fought to save homes in wildland-urban interface areas, it disrupts the process of letting nature take its course.
Living with Mountain Pine Beetles: Challenges and Opportunities affords mountain area residents a chance to educate themselves on the latest techniques for addressing the epidemic in their own backyards.
The workshop is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, May 12, at Conifer High School, 10441 County Road 73.