Monday, December 28, 2015

Should We Let Bark Beetles Decimate Our Western Pine Forests?

by Maddie Oatman 

Ever-worsening infestations of pine beetles have killed large swaths of forests in the Western United States. As climate change intensifies, the beetle carnage is only expected to increase. 

The US Forest Service maintains that the only way to stop the marauding bugs is by thinning: cutting down trees to stop the beetles' progress. 

But entomologist Diana Six, who has devoted her career to beetle ecology, thinks the beetles may actually know more than we do about how to make forests resilient in the face of big changes ahead as the planet warms.

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