Wyoming Game and Fish appraise mountain pine beetles

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is taking the mountain pine beetle epidemic seriously and has written a report outlining the insect’s impact to wildlife and fishing.

Although beetle infestations are a natural part of the forest cycle, outbreaks of this magnitude have not been witnessed in recorded history, the report said.

From 1996 to 2008, more than 1.3 million acres of conifers were hit by pine beetles in the Bighorn, Shoshone, Medicine Bow and Black Hills national forests. The Medicine Bow Forest has been hit the hardest, with 460,300 acres impacted by beetles, the report said.