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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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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

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Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

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Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

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