Decline in activity of Spruce beetle and Douglas-fir beetle in the Rio Grande National Forest

The 2019 forest health survey results were released last week and, once again, indicated a decline in activity of two forest insects that have most noticeably impacted the Rio Grande National Forest for several years: The Spruce beetle and Douglas-fir beetle.

The Douglas-fir beetle spread was nearly negligible for 2019, affecting only 670 acres with scattered pockets of mortality. The spruce beetle infestation spread another 6,700 acres in 2019, down significantly from the 34,000 acres in 2018 and 47,000 acres in 2017. In total, the spruce beetle has infested about 622,000 acres of spruce-fir and mixed conifer forest on the Rio Grande National Forest. That is one-third of the Forest.

Source: Monte Vista Journal, Feb 16, 2020…