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Forests bouncing back from beetles, but elk and deer slowing recovery

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Two words, and a tiny little creature, strike fear in the hearts of many Colorado outdoor enthusiasts: bark beetle. But new research from University of Colorado Boulder reveals that even simultaneous bark beetle outbreaks are not a death sentence to the state’s beloved forests.

The study, published this month in the journal Ecology, found that high-elevation forests in the southern Rocky Mountains actually have a good chance of recovery, even after overlapping outbreaks with different kinds of beetles. One thing that is slowing their recovery down: Foraging elk and deer.

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