In less than 30 years, three massive bark beetle epidemics in the northwest have dramatically changed the North American landscape.
In the first Bow Valley Naturalists meeting of 2012, award-winning journalist Andrew Nikiforuk gave a presentation titled The Beetle Economy: A Modern Tale of Collapse and Renewal.
Nikiforuk explained that the only way to renew a forest is by allowing fire or allowing bark beetles. For years, humans practiced fire suppression, leaving much of our current forests aged. This, along with climate change, are some of the main reasons for these epidemics.