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Mountain Pine Beetle Help Available for Black Hills Landowners



                                                           For Immediate Release: Sept. 15, 2011

                                               Media Contact: Coe Foss, 605-394-2395


Mountain Pine Beetle Help Available for Black Hills Landowners


RAPID CITY, S.D. – Help is available for landowners in the Black Hills who have trees infested with mountain pine beetles. They can receive assistance from the state to treat affected trees.


As part of the Black Hills Forest Initiative, landowners can receive direct financial assistance to treat beetle-infested trees on their property. Funding is limited, so landowners are encouraged to contact the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) at 800-275-4954 (from within South Dakota) or 605-394-2395. Alternatively, landowners can contact their county weed and pest personnel or their local conservation district to apply for the funds.


Individuals can visit http://beatthebeetles.com for more information on the Black Hills Forest Initiative, mountain pine beetles, treatments that qualify for cost share, and the cost-share rates.


Under this initiative, SDDA and other certified crews will help landowners locate and mark infested trees on their property. “Now is the best time to locate and treat mountain pine beetle infested trees,” said State Forester Ray Sowers. 


Once their property has been surveyed and trees have been marked, landowners will be eligible for cost-share assistance to treat their infested trees. “Treating trees this fall and early winter gives landowners the best chance of successfully keeping their infestation manageable,” said Sowers.


Landowners participating in the program will be provided with maps showing the location of infested trees on their property, advice on the best treatment options, and lists of contractors who can help treat infested trees.


Landowners who wish to make a quick survey of property to determine if they have infested trees, can use these tips:


·         Trees that have died over the summer or green trees that do not look as green as others may have a mountain pine beetle problem

·         A main symptom is very distinct globs of pitch that look like chewing gum stuck all over the trunk of the tree.

·         Another clue is the presence of sawdust around the base of a tree


Agriculture is South Dakota’s No. 1 industry, generating nearly $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 143,000 South Dakotans.  The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow.  Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or follow us on Facebook.


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