After the end of Storm Vaia in 2018, a threat looms over the forests of the Northeast: the bark beetle.

In 2018, Storm Vaia felled 42,800 hectares of forest, causing 2 billion in damage. Immediately after the storm, another one began, and it is still ongoing: the bark beetle epidemic, which attacks mainly spruce trees.

The bark beetle one is, for all intents and purposes, a second storm with severe consequences for the entire Northeast. The current situation provides us with both challenges and opportunities, and the climate crisis plays a significant role. Anthropologist Pietro Lacasella and forestry doctor Luigi Torreggiani recognized this opportunity and decided to document the bark beetle emergency. They did so by embarking on a journey through the changing forests and chronicling their experiences in the book “Sottocorteccia” (People, 2024). The authors interviewed various individuals throughout their journey, gathering perspectives, experiences, and data, which they included in their book diary.

As early as 2021, Etifor said that bark beetle presence would double Vaia’s damage by 2026. In addition to environmental and forest management damages, there are also technological and economic damages. The studies and analyses carried out by Etifor are featured in the book’s chapter on estimating the economic damage caused by the bark beetle. Forest supply chain experts Nicola Andrighetto and Jacopo Giacomoni were interviewed by Luigi Torreggiani and shared the impacts that the bark beetle emergency has had and is continuing to have on the wood supply chain in particular.