Toppled trees provide primo bark beetle habitat, prompting temporary Mineral Ridge recreation area closure
As the trail switchbacked and gained elevation, the damage from January’s windstorm appeared.
“This is where it starts to pick up,” said Debbie Paul, a Bureau of Land Management forester in Coeur d’Alene.
Paul was hiking the Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail, a popular 3.3-mile trail near Coeur d’Alene, in late February. A massive January windstorm toppled hundreds of trees in the 206-acre recreation area. Wind gusts as high as 61 mph splintered and ripped mostly Douglas fir and grand fir trees from the ground. Now these trees are scattered like matchsticks across the hillside.
“I mean, it looks