Boise National Forest officials are using trickery in their battle against the bark beetle.
Last spring workers placed pheromone baits - chemicals that mimic the scent that beetles emit when they find a good host tree - on trees on West Mountain about a mile west of Cascade.As forest officials hoped, the beetles were fooled into attacking the baited trees and now loggers are harvesting about 8 million board-feet of the infested timber in the remote area.
The beetles are always a part of the forest. But four years of drought has caused added stress for trees in the Boise forest, triggering the worst infestation of beetles in the forest on record, officials said. Without adequate moisture, trees cannot produce pitch to defend themselves from the beetles' attack.