2014-08-07

Drought could reverse drop in bark beetle numbers

The amount of Nevada forest under assault from bark beetles and similar bugs dropped significantly last year, a promising trend experts said could be reversed in a big way should the current drought continue much longer.

All across the state, populations of tree-killing insects plummeted in 2013 from levels seen in 2012, a change revealed by aerial surveys, said Gene Phillips, forest health specialist for the Nevada Division of Forestry.

"These are some pretty dramatic decreases," Phillips said.