Woodland Lake Park & Western Bark Beetle

Project Information

Recently, the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside Public Works staff detected various areas at Woodland Lake Park that contain large numbers of Ponderosa Pines displaying red to brown foliage.  A site visit with a US Forest Service employee confirmed that the Ponderosa Pines are infested with bark beetles.   During the site visit, it was also noted additional infestation of Dwarf Mistletoe in the Ponderosa Pines.

Bark Beetles typically cause large scale Ponderosa Pine mortality by attacking pine trees in large numbers and eventually causing the trees to die. Research studies performed by the US Forest Service (www.fs.fed.us/research/invasive-species/insects/bark-beetle.php)  have provided information that shows bark beetles thrive in Ponderosa Pine stands that are weakened due to environmental events such as higher temperatures and/or drought conditions. Navajo County is currently experiencing an exceptional drought (https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?AZ) which provides perfect thriving grounds for bark beetles and other invasive species, such as Dwarf Mistletoe. 

The Town of Pinetop-Lakeside applied for and was awarded the Western Bark Beetle Initiative Grant Program (WBBI) from Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.  A contract has been awarded to Canyon Creek Logging to remove bark beetle infested trees and removing green slash.  Since the bark beetles generally enter a dormant stage during the winter months, it is imperative to start removal as soon as possible.  Furthermore, the logging work is typically best completed during months with freezing temperatures for minimum ground damage at Woodland Lake Park.  During this project there will be 90 acres that will be treated and stands reduced to a healthy 60-80 square feet of basal area per acre to improve tree health and reduce the likelihood of attacks from bark beetles.

The Town of Pinetop-Lakeside considers the bark beetle infestation at Woodland Lake park a threat to public health and safety due to dead and hazardous trees that could potentially harm users of the park.

Watch our video to learn more. 

Additional Resources

Forest Insect & Disease Leaflet 176 USDA Forest Service (PDF)

Firewood & Bark Beetles in the Southwest Article from U of A (PDF)

Pine Bark Beetles Article from U of A (PDF)

Engraver Beetles Brochure USDA Forest Service (PDF)

Assistance for Home Owners

The Healthy Forests Costs Share Program helps landowners rapidly respond to bark beetle infestations by paying 50% of the cost of tree removal.  This program aims to help private landowners near or adjacent to National Forest System land reduce the spread of bark beetles.  Funding for the Healthy Forest Cost Share Program is provided by the AZ Department of Forestry and Fire Management and the USDA Forest Service.  For more information regarding the Healthy Forests Cost Share Program please contact AZ Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

Healthy Forest Cost Share Program (PDF)

Updates:

March 25, 2021.  Subject: Woodland Lake Park CLOSURE

Woodland Lake Park will be CLOSED beginning April 12th, 2021. The Town of Pinetop-Lakeside staff, Canyon Creek Logging and staff from Arizona Department of Forestry & Fire Management will be working to remove bark beetle and dwarf mistletoe infestation. During this time, we will also conduct some thinning in the area to meet the Town Fire Wise Code and improve the overall forest health. The new playground equipment will be installed, the restrooms on the northside will be completed and we will begin working on paving the pedestrian path around the lake. The park closure is temporary, and we will re-open the park once it is safe for park patrons. We thank you for your patience during this time and look forward to re-opening the park with a healthier forest and many new improvements.

February 16, 2021.    Subject: Woodland Lake Park CLOSURE

Due to the recent snow fall and additional wet weather the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside has been forced to delay the projects at Woodland Lake Park.  The park closure will be pushed to the end of March or beginning of April depending on weather.  Town staff will continue to work on various projects throughout the park, including the preparation of the pedestrian path for reconstruction.  During this time, we ask that our patrons use CAUTION while using the pedestrian path as well as other amenities in and around the park. Be aware of potential hazards and use at your own risk.  The park will remain open until Canyon Creek Logging is able to begin the remediation of the Bark Beetle infestation.