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Many Western US forests hit hard by bark beetle infestations now recovering: study

Just a few years after simultaneous bark beetle outbreaks decimated trees in the Rocky Mountains, scientists have found that large portions of these high-elevation forests are already showing signs of recovery, according to a new study of 14,000 trees published in the journal Ecology.

From 2005 to 2017, a severe outbreak of spruce bark beetles killed more than 90 percent of the Engelmann spruce trees across 800,000 acres in the southern Rocky Mountains. During the same period, an outbreak of western balsam bark beetles decimated subalpine fir across 116,000 of those acres.

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