Page 12

Page 12

BLACK HILLS PIONEER PINE BEETLE SERIES

Officials: Timber industry can't stop the beetles alone

A feller buncher, like this one owned by Mailloux Timber Company, can fall a full-grown tree in less than half a second. Company owner Jamey Mailloux said his machinery consumes hundreds of dollars' worth of diesel fuel every day. Pioneer photo by Mark VanGerpen

Shown here, a boom delimber removes tree limbs to prepare the logs for transportation to the mill. Pioneer photo by Mark VanGerpen

October - November 2011

!" #A%K 'A()E%PE( Black Hills Pioneer N"#$%&#N %())S + $he e.istence of a strong ti9:er ind<str= in the >lack %ills has :een identified := forestr= officials as one of the 9ain assets in the fight against the pine :eetlesB :<t the e.plosiCe scope of the infestation has so9e do<:ting whether the ind<str= alone has the capa:ilit= to stop it an=9ore. Fo9pared to the forests of Folorado and MontanaB which haCe :een affected := the :eetles al9ost to the point where there arenHt an= pine trees left for the9 to killB the >lack %ills National Iorest see9s to :e doing relatiCel= wellB eCen tho<gh al9ost a third of the J.2 9illion-acre forest has :een infested. Northern %ills District #anger #honda "H>=rne is one of seCeral forest officials who credit a lot of s<ccess to the ti9:er ind<str= and its logging actiCities in the %ills. NOeople are seeing what the 9o<ntain pine :eetles are doing on the >lack %ills National IorestB and itHs not a good pict<re to look atB :<t ( think we are wa= ahead of what so9e other national forests haCe :een a:le to doB :eca<se we haCe PanQ ind<str=BR "H>=rne said. $he ind<str= can onl= do so 9<chB tho<ghB and officials in the ti9:er ind<str= said the=Hre to the point where the= need to :e e.tre9el= selectiCe of where the= treat the forest for :eetlesB si9pl= d<e to the sheer siSe and growth of the infestation. N$his thing is :igger than what the ind<str= can handleBR said Dan ><ehlerB reso<rce 9anager with Nei9an $i9:er Fo9pan=. NTe need to slow its progressU we need to :e effectiCe where treat9ents occ<r on the gro<ndB and honestl= hope that Mother Nat<re interCenes and helps knock the9 :ack to a 9ore 9anagea:leB realistic o<tlook of o<r f<t<re ti9:er s<ppl= and what we can do.R $he Iorest serCice esti9ated that in 2009B the :eetles infested al9ost 22B000 new acres of forest. $hat n<9:er X<9ped to YYB000 in 20J0B and earl= esti9ates for 20JJ place the new infestation eCen higherB in the range of 50B000-60B000 new acres. Thile the acreage growsB the ti9:er ind<str=Hs capa:ilities re9ain a:o<t the sa9e. $o9 ShafferB general 9anager with the Nei9an $i9:er Fo9pan=B said the ind<str= logged on a:o<t 28B000 acres last =ear. ><ehler added that the= pro:a:l= co<ld haCe 9anaged a:o<t Y0B000 acresB :<t either wa=B the 9ath works o<t to the sa9e concl<sion] weHre falling :ehind. $hat :eing the caseB Shaffer said the ind<str= has al9ost adopted the 9entalit= of NSacrifice a few to saCe 9an=.R So9e landsB he saidB need to :e a:andoned to the :eetles now so we can foc<s o<r efforts in areas where we can still :e effectiCe against the :eetles. ><t 9an= people donHt see it that wa=. Shaffer said people with :eetles threatening or alread= on their land rel= heaCil= on the ti9:er ind<str= to protect the9 fro9 the :eetlesB :<t with so 9an= of the9 in the %illsB and the infestation so widespreadB it X<st isnHt possi:le or econo9icall= feasi:le to :e eCer=where at once. NTe at one point 9ade a decision that weHre going to do eCer=thing we can + :eca<se thatHs where o<r f<t<re liesB is national forest lands + to go o<t and halt the 9arch of the :<gs on Iorest SerCice PlandQBR Shaffer said. NTellB then weHCe got eCer= priCate landowner that wants to get rid of their trees. TeHre s<pposed to saCe thatU weHre s<pposed to saCe F<ster PStateQ OarkU weHre s<pposed to saCe FraS= %orseU weHre s<pposed to saCe eCer=:od= ^ (tHs al9ost like eCer=:od=Hs sitting :ack and waiting for the ind<str= to swoop in and take care of all this st<ffB and we X<st canHtBR he said. NTe canHt do it. Te canHt :e eCer=where at one ti9e.R See PINE BEETLES â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Page 13

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