Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dead trees

Since the mid 1990's Colorado's pine forests have been affected by an infestation of pine beetles which eventually kills the lodgepole pine trees that the beetles attack.

I've been vaguely aware of the problem and even noticed a few dead trees on the mountain whilst snowshoeing this Spring, but I was shocked when we returned home at the beginning of July to see great swathes of dead, brown trees all around the valley.

Fortunately much of the Steamboat ski mountain is covered by a mix of pine, spruce and fir trees so the death of the lodgepole pines won't leave it completed denuded. Nevertheless the dead trees do pose a hazard that the Ski Company and Forest Service will need to tackle one way or another.

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