Bark beetles draw<br>attention of locals

It’s been "beetlemania" around northern Arizona over the past six months, but that has nothing to do with the fab four from Britain.

Bark beetles have been on the minds of landowners as well as the caretakers of America’s forests. Will winter kill the beetles? What can be done to save trees? When will the worst be over?

Based on the public’s concern over the problem, Kaibab National Forest has scheduled a second public meeting on the topic. There was good turnout for a bark beetle informational meeting a few months ago.

"We had a public meeting on the bark beetle infestation in November and had a great turnout," said Rick Stahn, Tusayan district ranger. "Since then, though, I have had so many local residents ask me about the beetles and what they can do about them. I decided we should hold another meeting to reach all those people who were not able to make it to the first one."

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., on Feb. 6 at the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn in Tusayan. The Forest Service invites anyone interested in the bark beetle outbreak, which has been responsible for killing large numbers of pinyon and ponderosa pine trees.

Tom DeGomez, University of Arizona forest health specialist, will speak on the topic and provide landowners with a list of preventative measures they can take to protect trees.

John Anhold, a forest health protection specialist with the Forest Service, will address the infestation from a land-management perspective.

Also, a Kaibab National Forest tree specialist will describe the infestation on the Tusayan Ranger District and forest management’s response to the epidemic. A question-and-answer session will follow.

For more information, call the forest’s Jackie Denk at 928-635-5607.

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