Forest Service Optimistic About Pine Beetle Battle in Black Hills
The Black Hills National Forest faces some serious challenges in terms of combating the mountain pine beetle, but its managers say there is hope of success, the Black Hills Pioneer reported.
In terms of the beetle epidemic, Forest Supervisor Craig Bobzien said that with the variety of resources available to us, we can be optimistic about successfully preventing the total infestation of the forest.
“I'm of the belief — and I will say this is a shared belief among a lot of people who are working on this — that in the Black Hills, we have the ingredients in place to have the best chance of being successful in having a healthy forest, of really any place that I know of in the West that's being threatened right now,” Bobzien said.
To achieve that success, the Forest Service has formulated a strategy for responding to the beetles, but it will also take cooperation with governments, landowners and other entities across the forest.
The Western Bark Beetle Strategy, published by the Forest Service in July, identifies three main “prongs” or considerations in treating for the beetles: human safety, forest recovery after a devastating infestation, and long-term forest resiliency through thinning and treatment methods.