Reports indicate that earlier efforts to control mountain pine beetles in the Black Hills might have killed more healthy trees than diseased trees in some areas.
The Capital Journal reports that foresters monitoring the success of the campaign against the beetle tested trees in several Black Hills counties. They found a wide range in the percentage of infested trees in their sample areas.
One report from the office of the South Dakota state forester that was obtained by the Journal found in Lawrence and Meade counties most of the trees marked and cut were not infested.
The report says that means within those treated stands of trees, the cutting crews caused more tree mortality than the beetles.