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Bugs Killing Oregon Douglas Firs By Thousands

douglas_fir_cone_and_branch.jpg
RVWithTito, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8771491
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It's not that hotter and drier summers kill trees by themselves.  But when winters are mild, creatures that kill the trees don't die, and continue to feast upon them. 

That appears to be at least part of what is happening to Douglas firs, particularly in Oregon.  Flatheaded fir borers have killed trees by the tens or thousands, by BLM counts. 

Bill Schaupp is an entomologist at the Forest Health Protection office of the U.S. Forest Service, and well-versed in tree-killing bugs.  He gives us the big picture on what's happening to the Douglas firs.  

Here's a link to info about the insect.
 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for over 35 years, working in both television and radio.
April Ehrlich is a reporter at Jefferson Public Radio, focusing on in-depth investigative journalism and data reporting. She advocates for journalists across Oregon as the president of the Greater Oregon Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of "the split" when JPR grew from a single program stream to three separate streams. We coaxed him out of retirement and he's now a co-producer of the Jefferson Exchange.