From The Associated Press via The Aspen Times:
The project, called “WaterBlitz,” will assess the water quality of streams and explore whether the pine beetle epidemic that’s killing trees is affecting the water. Researchers think the beetle-killed trees are changing nutrient levels in the waterways.
Here’s an in-depth look at the pine beetle devastation and how to mange what will be left over, from Greg Zausen, forester with the Colorado State Forest Service-Fort Collins District. He writes:
On a large scale, there is nothing environmentally, economically, or socially acceptable we can do to stop the bark beetle epidemic at this point. We can start planning for the future and managing our forests to create a future forest that is less susceptible to such widespread tree mortality. Management should include promoting species diversity, frequent and periodic thinning to maintain healthy trees that are less susceptible to insects and disease, and patch cuts in lodgepole pine stands to promote structural and age diversity across the landscape.