We’re joined now by former U.S. Forest Service employee Brian Stout. He was supervisor of the Bridger-Teton National Forest from 1984 to 1994 and held various other positions in the forest service for the 24 years preceding that.
Stout recently published a book called “Trees of Life: Our Forests in Peril.” He says he wrote the book because he feels that the current way of managing forests is misguided.
Saw mills are re-opening in Wyoming and Colorado after a decade of being shuttered. They’re harvesting and processing trees that have been killed by beetle infestation. Still, many are suitable for lumber. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that this uptick in the timber business is helping with forest fire management.
Wyatt and Bridger Feuz and Hudson Hill didn’t plan to write about trees when they visited an abandoned arbor in Cheyenne, but that’s just what happened. The Horticultural field station hadn’t pruned any of its trees since the 1950s, and the educators were surprised to see many thriving. So they wrote “Scrappy Trees: Raw and Exposed.”
Wyoming forest officials anticipate another heavy fire season for this year.
Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser says recent warm winters have been great for the pine beetle population. He adds that Wyoming pine forests are full of densely-packed stands with trees of the same age, which makes them especially vulnerable to beetles, and that makes them more likely to burn.
Scientists say in a new study that the return of gray wolves has dramatically altered the landscape in portions of Yellowstone National Park, by curbing foraging elk herds that prevented new aspen, willow and cottonwood trees from taking root.
Study author William Ripple from Oregon State University said tree stands are expanding in areas where for decades dense elk populations prevented new growth.
Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and 1996 after being killed off early last century. About 100 now roam the park and elk numbers have dropped sharply.