Q: How many people attended the Electric Light Parade last Saturday? Are there any estimates?
A: Around 4,000, according to Minnette Richardson, owner of Cuts & Stuf and a member of the parade committee. That’s about 1,000 more than last year.
“We based that on concession sales and just a visual estimate,” Richardson said.
Only about 300 of those who attended the parade stayed for the tree lighting ceremony at Green Valley Park.
Q: Does the bark beetle affect other trees like shaggy bark (cedar) and alligator juniper or does it only affect ponderosa pines?
A: Ponderosa and pinon pines are the two trees affected by the current bark beetle epidemic, according to information provided by John Dryer, supervisor/vice chairman of the Tonto Natural Resource Conservation District. Several species of Ips beetles and western pine beetles are doing the damage. The current epidemic, centered in “stress-zones” such as drier, south-facing slopes that are transition areas between ponderosa and pinon-juniper areas, is the worst in 50 years.
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