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The CSU Extension in Gilpin County helps mountain residents improve their quality of life by offering a website, classes and programs that provide unbiased, research-based information on forestry, wildfire, wildlife, mountain gardening, noxious weeds and many other issues. Through our 4-H programs, we help youth develop life skills through leadership opportunities.

Mountain Pine Beetle   arrow

Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) may be familiar to residents of northeast Colorado who lived here during the epidemic of this insect two decades ago. Once the state’s most deadly forest pest, the mountain pine beetle affected about 80 percent of pine forests in Colorado from 1996-2014.

While the epidemic has subsided, outbreaks of this native bark beetle still pop up in pine forests across Colorado, enabled by overly dense forests and ongoing drought conditions.

Colorado State Forest Service foresters are monitoring what could be the start of an outbreak of mountain pine beetle along the Interstate 70 corridor near Idaho Springs and Black Hawk, as well as increased activity of this insect in the northern Black Forest near Colorado Springs. This time around, this insect is affecting primarily ponderosa pines.

November 2023 Site visit to Maryland Mountain to view mountain pine beetle infected trees.

2022 Report on the Health of Colorado’s Forests

Extension Office is Open Under Strict Guidelines

Visits are by appointment only.