By Renny MacKay
Laramie, Wy – A researcher with the U-S Forest Service says there are some recent examples of cold weather impacting bark beetles. The beetles have been killing huge numbers of trees across much of the region. Entomologist Barbara Bentz who is based at the Rocky Mountain Research Station says cold snaps last October and this spring seemed to have reduced beetle numbers in some localized areas across the West.
"And that has pushed some of the populations back a little bit, so they might get a little bit out of synch. I can't say that's going to happen, but there's definitely going to be weather events that are going to effect the populations directly."
Research shows climate change and warmer temperatures across the region have helped bark beetles survive. Bentz says it takes especially cold temperatures to kill off the beetles and the cold snap needs to come in the fall, early winter or in the spring to have the biggest impact on the insect. Bentz was speaking at workshop of forest managers who are looking at how to protect forests in the future.