Pine beetles stick around during polar vortex

Western Montana’s sub-zero temperatures still won’t be enough to control its pine bark beetle epidemic.

According to Montana’s Department of Natural Resources, neither last year’s polar vortex nor this November’s cold snap will have much, if any, effect on beetle populations.

Since 2000, pine beetles have infested more than 23 percent of all Montana’s forest land, with the most recent outbreaks occurring in the southern part of the Bitterroot National Forest and in the Big Hole area of the Beaverhead National Forest.