Rocky Mountain National Park Bark Beetles Face Renewed Battle


Updated information on bark beetle treatment procedures in Rocky Mountain National Park this year, from the National Parks Traveler:

The seemingly never-ending battle against bark beetles in the forests of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado will continue this spring and summer as crews spray an insecticide on stands of trees thought to be at risk from the beetles.

This year’s mitigation work also calls for removing hazard trees, prescribed burns, utilizing an air curtain burner, and pheromone treatments, park officials say. The park’s priorities for mitigation of the effects of beetles are focused on removing hazard trees and hazard fuels related to the protection of life and property.

Starting in late April and ending by Memorial Day weekend, the park is planning to apply a Carbaryl based insecticide to up to 1,500 high-value trees to protect them from bark beetles. Insecticide will be applied from the ground and sprayed onto individual trees to repel beetle attacks.

Treatment will occur in the following developed areas of the park: Aspenglen Campground, Moraine Park Campground, Fire Management offices, Hollowell Park and Upper Beaver Meadows picnic areas, and housing areas including Kaley Cottages, Wild Basin Entrance and Deer Haven, Mill Creek Ranger Station, and Tuxedo Park.

Temporary closures to the public and employees will be in effect during spraying operations.

Last year, approximately 2,500 trees were treated and nearly all of these trees were effectively protected from bark beetle attacks, the Park Service said. Treatment sites have been reduced on the east side of the park because infestation rates decreased in forests adjacent to high value trees. The frequency of treatment has been reduced to biennial application.

Read more information in the full article here.