Updated for 2017
Institute for Cooperative BioBalance® EcoSystem Research Study Overview
The Lodgepole Pine and Pine Bark Beetle EcoSystem Research Study in Colorado
During a ski trip to Colorado in early 2007, Institute for Cooperative BioBalance® co-founder Ms. Basia Alexander noticed that whole sides of mountains were turning red and brown. It was the Lodgepole Pine Trees dying. Basia inquired at the ski town’s municipal offices and was told that the Pine Bark Beetle was to blame. The environmental official told her that there was nothing to be done to save the trees.
Serendipidously, later that summer, a woman approached the Tree Whispering display booth at a trade show in New Jersey. Marie was visiting from the Winter Park area of Colorado. She expressed great concern for all the Lodgepole Pines, explaining that the conventional approach to the problem was to simply cut the trees down, even if they had only one “hit” from the Pine Bark Beetles.
Marie invited Dr. Jim and Basia to her property in Fraser, Colorado. By the time Dr. Jim and Basia flew out in autumn of 2007, Marie had organized appointments with many of her friends who had similar concerns for their trees.
That was the beginning of a multi-year study by Dr. Jim on many properties in the Winter Park/Fraser and Vail, Colorado areas.
During Dr. Jim’s 2007 bioenergy-based, hands-on communication and healing sessions with the Lodgepole Pines on multiple properties, he discovered that the Pine Bark Beetle was not the cause of the Lodgepole Pines’ problems, but was only the last in a series of stressors to the trees.
Stress factors to the Lodgepole Pines include:
- nine or more years of summer drought,
- shorter and warmer winters favoring beetle larvae survival,
- higher pollution levels,
- lack of fire as a natural thinning process in the forest,
- blue stain fungus brought in by the beetle larvae,
- and others.
Dr. Jim always asks the question, “Which comes first, the sick tree or the insects?” Lodgepole Pines’s health was weakened by multiple factors, making them susceptible to the final insult: the beetle larvae’s feeding activities.
Starting in late 2007
When Dr. Jim and Basia arrived in late 2007, many test sites already had trees that were “hit” by the beetles and were reddening. Those would go on to die. But, each site had trees that had a chance to survive. Dr. Jim’s first treatment at each site addressed the trees’ compromised circulation systems and prepared the trees for the coming winter.
Dr. Jim and Basia returned in late May, 2008. On this visit, treatments centered around strengthening the trees’ inner health and preparing them for the immanent flight of the adult beetles. This is when the beetles lay their eggs in new trees.
Upon their return in mid-October, they were told that the 2008 beetle fly had been “large” and that many more trees were cut down in the valley. However, at the test sites, the trees that were green the previous spring were still green. Any trees that already showed signs of reddening, were either very red or cut down by the owners.
EcoPeace Treaty Structure
“Scrape” gives a window into the trees
Every year the Lodgepole Pine trees on the research study properties grew and thrived. The Pine Bark Beetle was still present in the forest and even present in the trees. “Scrape” proves that the trees and the beetles were co-existing through 2013.
“Scrape” is a tree on the edge of an area that the property owner cleared of other trees. Often, when clearing, the cutter will drop a tree that scrapes another tree that is not intended to be cut down. This injures the tree. Thanks to Dr. Conroy’s holistic bioenergy treatments, the tree we call “Scrape” continues to thrive.
One small benefit from this injury was that it allowed the area just under the bark of the tree to be viewed. Notice that this young, small diameter tree, has tracks from feeding Pine Bark Beetle larvae. At the same time, note that the tree has robust growth; no signs of reddening at all. This shows that the Lodgepole Pines (even young ones) and the Pine Bark Beetle can co-exist in the ecosystem if both are healthy and in dynamic balance.
This is Scrape in 2015. Notice that the tree has weathered, but it is still growing strong despite the many “hits” it received in past years.
The Study Continues until today…
Conroy and Alexander have returned to the test sites in Vail and at Winter Park/Fraser, Colorado, a total of 12 times through August of 2015. In fact, we went twice in 2015!
During each of their visits, Dr. Jim provided his hands-on bioenergy healing treatments to strengthen inner functionality, address circulation issues caused by the beetles and the blue stain, and promote growth. And, each time, the test site properties showed robust growth on healthy trees. Some of the Lodgepole Pine trees even showed signs of recent beetle hits but were still green and healthy. That showed that healthy trees could withstand the presence of the Pine Bark Beetles without being killed.
Dr. Conroy’s bioenergy healing approach is unconventional. He establishes an intuitive communication with the tree and with the insects to find out how both life forms might co-exist.
Please read the stories of Lodgepole Pine trees and the Pine Bark Beetles at our sister website EcoPeaceTreaties.org
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