Wetter, cooler weather in 2019 helped reduce wildfires while warding off invading insects, according to the Colorado State Forest Service’s annual forest health report, presented to legislators on March 9.
Wetter weather — partly due to robust snow pack in Colorado’s mountains — helped trees produce enough sap to resist insects, the Forest Service said.
For the eighth year running, the state’s most widespread and destructive forest insect pest was the spruce beetle; there were 89,000 acres of active infestations in the state’s high-elevation Engelmann spruce forests in 2019, less than in 2018. Populations of roundheaded pine beetle, along with bark beetles, continued to affect ponderosa pine forests in Dolores County, with 22,000 acres impacted in 2019, about the same as 2018.
Read the report at bit.ly/COForestHealth2019.
Above, foresters in Jefferson County lead a tour of the Heavens Project, which partnered with private landowners to address forest restoration, wildfire risk and protection of water resources.