Not knowing a great deal about the problem, Northboy, I'd have to Google it for info but I do wonder if it isn't nature's way of clearing land. Many species (eg. bighorn sheep) require large open areas to live in and nature creates forest fires to provide certain life forms with what they need. I wonder if pine beetle might not be another form of that?
It's so ugly to drive and see these huge clear cuts required to stop the spread of the beetle but sometimes when we mess with old mom nature it causes more problems. Case in point ... the wolves. We killed them off, upset the balance, brought them back, upset the balance again ... on and on.
The question seems to be how we can manage our environment without doing damage.
I could be way off with pine beetle, tho. As I said, I haven't done sufficient research. But I shall.