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Wildfires and Beetles Are Plaguing Our Forests. But We’re Not Powerless.

The film ‘Usufruct’—a word that means the right to enjoy something—emphasizes how part of enjoying public lands entails working not to destroy them, and what we can do to mitigate such loss.

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Sarah Sturm, Evan Green, and Dillon Osleger recently set out on an unusual kind of bikepacking trip near Durango, Colorado. While they typically like to ride on great trails with scenic views, this time they wanted to see how destructive beetles and forest fires are impacting biking trails and nearby neighborhoods, so they cycled through beetle-kill areas and burn zones.

Beetles have caused significant damage to forests across the U.S., burrowing into tree bark and laying their eggs, which disrupt the flow of nutrients to the roots. Warmer winters and summers, due to climate change, are worsening beetle outbreaks, not to mention affecting the length and severity of wildfire season. 

The film Usufruct—a word that means the right to enjoy something—emphasizes how part of enjoying public lands entails working not to destroy them, and what we can do to mitigate such loss. Usufruct is produced by Andy Cochrane and directed by Cochrane and Adam Wells

Environment