Mountain pine beetle (MPB) is an insect native to the forests of western North America and is also known as the Black Hills beetle or the Rocky Mountain pine beetle. MPB primarily develop in pines such as lodgepole, ponderosa, Scotch and limber pines, and less commonly affect bristlecone and piñon pines.
2015 Aerial Survey
Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) activity subsided and remained low with a total of 5,000 acres of active mountain pine beetle infestation detected in the state in 2015.
The epidemic has ended in many areas of Colorado as mature pine trees have been depleted following the outbreak that impacted more than 3.4 million-acres of Colorado forestland from 1996-2013.
Many of the pine forests impacted by the outbreak, especially in portions of Middle Park and North Park, now have a gray cast due to the large numbers of dead trees.
Infestations in both ponderosa and limber pines continued at moderate to low levels on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Range, and large groups of limber pines were killed in portions of the western slope of the range from the Cottonwood Creek Basin north to Hayden Pass.
Infestations also occurred on the southern slopes of the San Juan Mountains near Durango, and localized attacks were observed in lodgepole pine stands in the Cochetopa Hills west of Saguache.