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Showing posts from April, 2017

Bark Beetle Invasion

"Is that a deciduous tree? Look, I found a little, black insect! Why is that pine tree brown?" These questions and comments have been a common occurrence throughout the school year.  The S.O.S. forest is changing and students are taking notice.  The change has brought up insightful discussions about forest health and management by the students.        
The little black insect stimulating so many questions and concerns is actually native to California.  The Mountain Pine Beetle and the Western Pine Beetle can be found in western North American forests.  Previously, these beetles (no bigger than a cooked piece of rice) caused little harm to the healthy forests of California.  However, California’s years of drought have brought the pine beetle to the front of the stage.  
A student asks, “Ewwww, what’s that red ooze on that tree?”  That red ooze is a sign that the Ponderosa Pine is unsuccessfully trying to fight off the bark beetle.  As previously stated, the bark beetle is nativ…