North of Pagosa Springs, Colorado
The question came up in a few posts back "Are those trees dead?"
Unfortunately, yes. Those gray looking trees are no longer alive.
The Mountain Pine Beetle is the cause of their death.
Notice the few dead ones in the foreground.
The beetle inhabits ponderosa, lodgepole, whitebark, Scotch, jack pine and limber pine trees.
What is not green in this image is dead.
Normally the beetle plays an important role in attacking old or weakened trees. But since 1996 unusually hot and dry summers, and mild winters have sparked an epidemic of beetle destruction.
Stretching from British Columbia south through the western states on into Arizona
more than 88 million acres of forests have been affected
leaving millions of trees looking like this.
This is the little culprit.