I have traveled through western Canada several times by car and by train, and I have seen firsthand the devastating effects on forests there wrought by the beetles reported in the Nov. 27 AFP-JIJI article “Pine beetles swarm to west Canada.”

Entire mountainsides that habitually are covered with green forests are an ugly brown mat of dead timber. All that dead wood raises the already-high risks of summer forest fires, but I haven’t understood yet if the timber is still usable as commercial lumber.

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