Dying lodgpole pine in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo by NPS.
Climate change threatens some of the most treasured natural and historic places in our nation. An example in the Western Mountains bioregion that park mangers are concerned about is the ongoing pine beetle outbreak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Pine beetles are natural to this system, but normally the harsh Colorado winters are cold enough to kill off many of these beetles. However with warming winter temperatures it has allowed the beetle population to explode, causing the devastation of lodgpole pine trees in the park. When one visits Rocky Mountain today it is common to see acres of dead and dying trees within the park.
Suggested links to learn more about climate change in this region: