September 13, 2008

Bark Beetles Destroying Utah Trees

Utah researchers said bark beetles are destroying spruce trees in the Dixie National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service's Bark Beetle Technical Working Group said the bark beetle is an "agent of change" in conifer forests in the Rocky Mountain region, the Deseret Morning News reported this week.

"We're talking hundreds of thousands of acres they have basically been wiped out -- pretty much the entire spruce component in the Dixie National Forest," Colleen Keyes of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands told the newspaper.

The U.S. Forest Service said bark beetle outbreaks and subsequent forest management activities "will alter landscapes throughout the West for the next century."