Forest infestation
For the past 10 years, our great western Conifer forests have been under siege by the mountain pine bark beetle. This insect is responsible for killing nearly 42 million acres, or 70,000 square miles, of our forest pine trees. In the East, the emerald ash borer and the gypsy moth are also causing much forest damage. Scientists claim climate change is much to blame for our beetle problem. They say severe drought has caused bark beetle populations to explode while enabling them to move to higher altitudes where they encounter trees that have not developed defenses against them. Bark beetles normally attack weakened trees. However, with record-breaking beetle populations and more drought-stressed trees, even relatively healthy trees are being infected. Longer summers and warmer winters also assist beetle populations by enabling more beetle larva to survive the moderate cold season, and allowing these voracious pests to spread farther than they once could. With scientists predicting future droughts to be more intense, occur more often and last longer, the fate of our forests is not promising. In an attempt to discover its weakness and stem its devastation, scientists have recently sequenced the genome of the mountain pine bark beetle.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.695 - Healthy Forest Management and Wildfire Prevention Act

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Poll Opening Date
March 26, 2020
Poll Closing Date
April 1, 2020

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