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Beetles, Bears, and Climate Change

Disappearing forests in the Northern Rockies. Climate Change.  An explosion of beetles. Confused grizzly bears. We ask what’s going on.

Rocky Mountain Research Station - USFS

Rocky Mountain Research Station - USFS

News out of the high mountain West: The great white bark pine forests of Greater Yellowstone are dying. The majestic stands the stud the Rockies high peaks, with trees a thousand years old, are turning gray. Mile after mile of what they’re calling “ghost forest”. Half dead.

It’s messing with the region’s critical water flow. It’s driving grizzly bears onto human terrain.

It goes back to an exploding mountain pine beetle population no longer controlled by cold winters. It goes back to climate change.

This hour On Point: we’ll look at big trouble in the pine forests of the high mountain West.

Guests:

Jesse Logan, former forest entomologist for the U.S. Forest Service and longtime leader of the Bark Beetle Project for the Forest Service. He just completed a major survey on mountain pine beetles in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Mark McCarty, rancher and manager of the Two Dot Ranch in Cody, Wyoming.

Chuck Schwartz, wildlife biologist and leader of the Grizzly Bear Study Team at the U.S. Geological Survey.  He manages the population of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area in Wyoming and Montana.

Angus Thuermer, Jr.,  co-editor of the Jackson Hole News and Guide.

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