Yes, I see the forest in and around Prescott dead or dying. Most are standing skeletons of their former self, or cut down, blown down, or burned down. The last time I thought heavy on this was Labor Day while hiking in the Bradshaw and I looked hard at the mountains around, imagining them nude in my life time.
Nature is at play here with the drought and the bark beetles, and I think about Arizona's pre-history. Of the early Native Americans; the Sinagua and the Salado's, and our own Prescott Culture. Archeologist do not really know why many left there homes in and around the middle of 1200 A.D., hostility among other tribes is mention, as well as, a drought during that period. I can look at the Fitz-Maurice Ruins in Prescott Valley, just on the other side of Lynx Creek, and imagine the surface water drying up because of the drought, their only source of water, forcing them to leave and move on.
However, I do think we have a hand in this too. I think everything we are witnessing in our forest has finally reached up and bit us in the behind because of what we did in the past. Today, nature is harsh and we see the results with the bark beetles, the drought, and I would submit to all, our forest not thin enough. Taking away the fire. To many trees in one acre, fighting for every drop of water in the ground.
Frankly, I cannot even suggest an idea on how to stop this problem that has not been discussed by those who are the experts. Except, pray for more rain.