Bark beetles cause extensive tree mortality in coniferous forests of western North America and play an important role in the disturbance ecology of these ecosystems. Recently, elevated populations of bark beetles have been observed in all conifer forest types across the western United States. This has heightened public awareness of the issue and triggered legislation for increased funding for state and federal agencies to address issues associated with bark beetle outbreaks. Recently, US Forest Service, Research and Development entomologists from the western research stations met with US Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Forest Health Protection entomologists, our primary stakeholder, to identify bark beetle research priorities. These include vegetation management; ecological, economic, and social consequences of outbreaks; fire and bark beetle interactions; effects of climate change on bark beetle populations; and chemical ecology.