Mountain Pine Beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae) are native inhabitants of western North American pine forests. Their population waxes and wanes according to the vulnerability of the trees on which they feed and in which the females lay their eggs. Pines respond to the insects’ assault by exuding a resin which can become infected by a fungal disease carried by the beetles. Due to repeated seasons of expanding die-off, 3.5 million acres in Colorado have become fire-prone, and now forest service managers are asking Denver-area water utilities and ski resorts to aid in the removal of infested trees to reduce the likelihood that future erosion and sediment will clog reservoirs and water-delivery systems. Read more here.