• Photo of the continental divide blanketed in snow. NPS Photo by VIP Schonlau

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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  • Old Fall River Road will be closed in 2014 due to flood damage

    Damages on Old Fall River Road are extensive and the road will remain closed to vehicles through 2014. It is unknown at this time whether hikers and bicyclists will be allowed on the road. More »

  • Impacts from September 2013 Flood

    Due to recent flooding, there are still some closures in the park that could affect your visit. More »

Mitigation Work for Beetles Continues at Rocky Mountain National Park

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Date: April 23, 2008
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

Bark beetles continue to be of concern within Rocky Mountain National Park; as they continue to impact large numbers of conifer trees. Starting in late April and ending before Memorial Day weekend, the park is planning to apply Carbaryl to as many as 5,000 high-value trees to protect them from bark beetles. Spraying will occur in the following developed areas of the park: Timber Creek Campground, Moraine Park Campground, Glacier Basin Campground, Aspenglen Campground, Kawuneeche Visitor Center, Fall River Visitor Center, Fall River Entrance and Bighorn Ranger Station, Moraine Park Visitor Center and William Allen White Studio, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, East and West Side Park Service Housing Areas, McGraw and Holzwarth Ranches, and Wild Basin Entrance.

Last year, nearly 5,000 high value trees were treated with Carbaryl and most treated trees were not attacked by bark beetles. The total number of trees treated this year, may be less than 5,000 depending on site-specific conditions. The Longs Peak Campground will remain chemical free for this year. Carbaryl will be used to repel beetle attacks to individually treated trees.

For several years, Rocky Mountain National Park has had a proactive bark beetle management program. During 2006 and 2007, the park spent over $100,000 each year implementing the mitigation work. In 2008, the park is planning to spend over $600,000 on a number of mitigation efforts, including spraying, removal of hazard trees, and implementing temporary closures in a variety of park locations.

The use of synthetic Carbaryl on the natural and human environment was thoroughly evaluated in the 2005 Bark Beetle Management Plan. As of fall 2007, bark beetles were considered at epidemic levels on the west side of the park and significantly increasing on the east side. The Plan states that bark beetles will be managed using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. IPM techniques include sanitation, mechanical, cultural, chemical and pheromone treatments. Presently pheromone treatment is considered ineffective due to the severe outbreak.

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please contact the park’s information office at (970) 586-1206.

Did You Know?

a photo of treeline in Rocky Mountain National Park

If the current amount of total nitrogen deposition measured at the high-elevation monitoring site in Rocky Mountain National Park (3 kg/ha/yr) was the same throughout the park, the amount of airborne nitrogen entering the park would be equivalent to 35,500 twenty-pound bags of fertilizer. More...