Sunday, May 12, 2013

The changing face of our forests - bark beetle and global warming

This is an article I wrote for the Four Corners Free Press out of Cortez, Colorado.  

It's the culmination of my day listening in on the "San Juan Bark Beetles and Watersheds Workshop" {which was organized by the Western Water Assessment and Mountain Studies Institute} plus discussions with some participants.

In particular, I thank Mike Blakeman from the Rio Grande National Forest.  A
lthough Mike was a spectator, he has a scientific background and has a long standing familiarity with the developing scientific understanding.  He spent a good deal of time clarifying and offering further details, not all of which made it into this essay.  

Of course, any errors are mine alone and I will gladly fix any that are pointed out to me.  At the end of this essay I include links to authoritative information sources.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Have you ever driven over Wolf Creek Pass, the one in southern Colorado straddling the Great Divide? At 10,857 ft. elevation, it's an example of America at its most magnificent; with high mountains and spruce forests stretching out in every direction.