In the future, the forests surrounding Aspen will look different. Already, mountain shrubs are replacing some Aspen stands and changing the complexion of the area, likely due to due a warming climate.
Neighboring Pitkin County is now tracking these shifts on open space properties. Two local non-profit organizations are helping. The new data is thanks to a pair of towers that’s tracking things like soil moisture and temperature.
The spruce beetle is now outpacing the mountain pine beetle as the biggest insect threat to Colorado forests. The information was released to lawmakers in the annual Forest Health Report on Wednesday. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.