Raising Awareness Of Pine Beetle Infestation
Pine beetles have been voraciously chewing through our nation’s forests for decades killing trees and leaving behind wood that has a unique blue stain caused by the fungus carried by the beetles. This wood has been for the most part left unused by the timber industry, but recent work with the wood by innovative entrepreneurs has proven to be quite successful. Because the beetle-kill wood seems to be harder than its natural counterpart and has a unique blue stain it is being used to make unique furniture and even skis. Other opportunities have been incorporated for the beetle-kill wood as well, such as WoodStraw, a product made for erosion control. Used successfully in the Pacific Northwest, WoodStraw helps prevent erosion after disturbances such as wildfire and construction work. A bonus is it can be locally sourced, is cheaper than other common products such as coconut-based fiber blankets, and it can be made from almost any part of the tree. Those utilizing the beetle-kill wood know that this is not a solution to the large problem of pine beetle infestation, instead they are aiming to raise awareness of the crisis through their work with the wood.