These lodgepole pines are hosts of the Mountain pine beetle. Entire forests and mountainsides in Colorado are slowly being cleared by the beetle. Even my hometown will experience its destruction within a few years. It prefers a diet of Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines. The Mountain pine beetle is a native species, and this is a natural process, so the only thing to do is enjoy the colors and be very careful with fire, gas and stoves. Campfires are already illegal during most of the backpacking season in most Colorado wilderness areas.