by Pam Zubeck
The Pikes Peak Region is currently experiencing a near-epidemic infestation of two species of defoliating moths in our forests; the Douglas-fir tussock moth and western spruce budworm. Their activity causes thousands of trees to become defoliated, or have the needles eaten down to the branch or twig. These trees are brown and “appear dead", although many may not be. In order to protect our forests, the City of Colorado Springs' Forestry Division will be implementing an aerial treatment plan to spray approximately 4,000 acres beginning June 21.The participating agency, its acreage, and the amount contributed to the effort:
The treatment will take place over seven to ten days and is subject to change as application operations are highly weather dependent. The City has hired Frontier Helicopter, who will use a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter to apply a biological control pesticide treatment. North Cheyenne Canyon, Blodgett Peak Open Space, Jones Park, portions of Cheyenne Mtn. State Park, the Cheyenne Mtn. Zoo, isolated sections of the Pike National Forest and some Broadmoor amenities will experience road and trail closures for short periods of time during treatment. For more information on the progression of the spraying process, you can view the maps by visiting https://www.coloradosprings.gov/tussock.