At the Forest Health press conference in January 2010, the aerial survey results revealed that more than a half-million new acres were infested in 2009 that had not previously been affected by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. The total number of acres impacted by the entire mountain pine beetle outbreak since 1996 in Colorado and southern Wyoming is now 3.6 million acres; 2.9 million for Colorado and 700,000 acres for southern Wyoming.
The mountain pine beetle infestation grew by 524,000 acres in Colorado and southern Wyoming in 2009. While logdepole pines continue to be the tree of choice, pockets of ponderosa, limber, and bristlecone pines are infected as well. The most significant aspect of this year’s increase in the mountain pine beetle epidemic is that most new activity is east of the Continental Divide in northern Colorado and in the Snowy and Laramie Ranges of southern Wyoming.
Larimer County experienced the largest increase, almost doubling in size in 2009 (from 280,000 to 500,000 acres). The Medicine Bow and Roosevelt National Forests experienced the largest growth 330,000 acres (116,000 and 214,000 acres respectively).
Learn about the methods available to protect your landscape from the mountain pine beetle.