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Susan Allen Beetle Benefits
by Susan Allen, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: October 07, 2010


Nature can humble the best biologists we have recently learned that despite logging bans the spotted owl is still declining in numbers and when I return on today’s Open Range another creature blamed for harming our western forests is actually really helping to save  trees. I’m Susan Allen. For the last decade the bark beetle has been regarded as a dreaded presence in our westerns forest. I remember pointing out those ugly brown skeletons of beetle killed trees to my kids years ago and telling  them what a shame it was we couldn’t eradiate those insects . Bark Beetles have been a favorite scapegoat for wildfires that biologists felt certain burned more aggressively due to their carnage . Once again what nature/God  trumps the brightest minds. A new study in Montana and Wyoming on lodge pole and spruce has discovered that bark beetles reduce wildfires. That goes against logic but it has been man’s misguided  logic to suppress forest fires over the last eighty years instead of allowing them to clear the forest of debris and disease that created a haven for beetles. Couple that with recent drought and we helped to create Barney Bark   beetle’s favorite diner, weakened trees. The beetles confounding habit of consuming a tree here or there works to  slow forest fires as the fires can no longer spread quickly though the dense tree  canopy and those dry needles on the forest floor blamed on beetles, again no proof they make a fire worse. 

Bark Beetles Not Smokey  Save Forest 

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