Beginning in the late 1990s, the pine forests of Montana began to experience the largest mountain pine beetle outbreak in recorded history. Large swaths of forests began to turn red, then gray as the beetles ate their way through Pacific Northwest stands. At their peak in 2009, this native insect infested nearly 3.7 million acres statewide, leaving dead or dying trees in their wake. The infestation became a hot topic not only among those concerned with forest management, but also among the wood products industry. By 2014, pine beetle numbers began to decline with new infestation totaling about 600,000 acres.