The Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic.

The most recent and unprecedented mountain pine beetle epidemic was responsible for decimating millions of acres of Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine forest in North America and is now considered one of our planet’s greatest deforestation events in millennia. The mountain pine beetle epidemic reveals how the seemingly small changes to the Earth’s climate is hurting forests.

Triggered by an extensive decades-long drought, the mountain pine beetle epidemic is a prime example of how the climate emergency can upset the natural balance of an ecosystem and cause chain reactions of cascading negative impacts on biodiversity. As a foundational species, Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine trees depend on regional periodic cycles of drought, insect infestation and fire for their survival.

Along with prolonged drought which weakens lodgepole pine trees’ natural defense against insect infestation, the climate emergency has made winters shorter, allowing native mountain pine beetles to increase their populations at alarming rates and infest significantly larger amounts of lodgepole forests across their entire range. Huge stands of dead lodgepole pines have created massive fuel loads that burn much hotter than they should, sterilizing fertile soil created by historic natural forest cycles and eliminating the chance of forest regeneration.

Contact Witness Tree Media for usage licensing fees for any of the photographs or videos.

Start Telling Visual Stories Now.

Grow your audience and increase your fundraising efforts by telling visual stories that spotlight the important work your environmental organization is doing to make a positive impact on our planet.

Close Menu