Serving Whitman County since 1877

Blame the beetles for forest health

Growing up in the 60s, our parents blamed everything on “The Beatles.” According to them, they were “the punks” from Liverpool who caused all the teenagers to go crazy.

Lately, there is another group of “Beatles” giving people fits, only their names are spelled differently. These “beetles” are tiny insects that burrow under the bark of mature needle-bearing trees (conifers) and munch on the nutrient layers. In time, they suffocate whole forests and create immense debris fields.

In fact, those tiny bugs provide much of the dead wood fueling today’s conflagrations. According to University of Bri...


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