Beetles: Big menace in a small package

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Since 1996, the Rocky Mountain bark beetle has killed more than 4 million acres of pine trees in Colorado and parts of Wyoming.

The epidemic is growing exponentially, spurred by warm winters that allow the beetle to spread virtually unchecked. And while the problem started in lodgepole pines, it's spread other trees now as well, including ponderosa. That could mean forests around Colorado Springs may be in trouble in the future.

To get a true sense of how the beetles have spread over time, check out this map feature: U.S. Forest Service.

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