Effect of Mountain Pine Beetles on Rockies Water Supply Debated

Regions of the Rocky Mountains — extending from British Columbia into Colorado — are in the midst of a mountain pine beetle epidemic that is killing their mature trees, which ultimately affects watersheds throughout these areas.

In northern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, an estimated four million acres of forests are affected. The British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations says it is now “experiencing the largest recorded mountain pine beetle outbreak in North America.”

There have been numerous studies, but no consensus on whether the mountain pine beetle is deteriorating water quality in infected areas.