|National forest takes steps to prevent next beetle epidemic
Mountain Pine Beetle-Fight Continues
The Associated Press - April 17, 2017
RAPID CITY, S.D. - Though the 20-year mountain pine beetle epidemic in Black Hills National Forest in western South Dakota has ended, U.S. Forest Service officials plan to continue fighting against the tree-killing insects.
A new effort has begun called the Black Hills Resilient Landscapes Project. If the project is approved, forest managers will spend the next decade improving forest conditions by removing dead trees, igniting controlled burns and churning patches of soil to encourage new tree growth. Another major focus is adding a variety of tree types to the forest so prevent the spread of the beetles.
The beetles have been plaguing the Black Hills since 1997. Almost 450,000 acres have been affected. That is more than one-third of the national forest.