Signs of pine beetles moving to lower elevations |

Signs of pine beetles moving to lower elevations

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – A Colorado State Forest Service forest entomologist says Front Range residents don’t have to drive as far anymore to find patches of trees killed by mountain pine beetles.

Sky Stephens says the increased beetle activity can be seen in infested lodgepole pine with reddish needles and ponderosa pine with yellowish needles in the Poudre (POO’-der) and Big Thompson canyons, along the Peak to Peak Highway and near U.S. 287 north of Fort Collins.

Aerial surveys by the Colorado State Forest Service and U.S. Forest Service last year showed mountain pine beetle activity in lower-elevation ponderosa pine on the Front Range increased more than tenfold from the previous year.

About 3.2 million acres in Colorado have been affected since 1996.

Stephens says landowners can apply preventive treatments to protect uninfected trees.