User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


21° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Custer State Park's Battle Against Beetles

October 11, 2011, 10:15 PM by Derek Olson

Custer State Park's Battle Against Beetles
CUSTER STATE PARK, SD - Over the past decade, more of the Back Hlls has become brown, thanks to the mountain pine beetle. And with thousands of acres of forest lost to the bugs, it may seem like the battle is lost. But foresters at Custer State Park haven't given up the fight.

"Right now we're removing trees infested with mountain pine beetle along needles highway," senior forester Adam Gahagan said.

The park spent much of the past summer identifying the infested trees.  On Tuesday, the scenic Needles Highway closed so the work to remove those trees could begin.

"Hopefully, we're removing 95 to 98 percent of the bugs, and at the same time thinning the rest of the forest to a stand that will repel the bugs better," Dan Sandford with Sanford Logging said.

Sanford's company is just one of a handful that the park has contracted to cart off the overrun pines. It's work they're doing more of these days.

"Fifteen years we've been in business, and it seems like the last two or three years the bug tree removal has become a bigger and bigger part of what we're doing," Sandford said.

However, most of the time, it's not a total loss.  If the infested trees are taken down in time, the lumber that comes from them can be sent off to a mill and used.

"Even though the trees are infested with beetles, right now until about next summer the structural properties of the wood are about the same as a normal green tree, non-infested tree," Gahagan said.

And although the situation is far from good, it would be a lot worse without these efforts.

"My speculation would be that 80 to 90 percent of the trees in this area would probably be dead if we did absolutely nothing," Gahagan said.

"The only way that's not going to happen is if we aggressively thin the stands we have left and remove every bug tree possible," Sandford said.

The Needles Highway won't reopen until the spring, which will give contractors some time to haul off the infested pines. Park officials have identified and marked more than 50,000 of them.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







Sponsored
 

You may also like

Blizzard Impacting Travel In Southeast KELOLAND

2/2/2016 10:03 AM

The Sioux Falls Police Department is also advising no travel within the city. Officials say visibility is near zero with blowing snow and scattered sl...

Full Story
Superintendent Cancels School With Video

2/2/2016 1:41 PM

Dr. Donavan DeBoer with the Parker School District posted the cancellation notice on YouTube.

Full Story
Police: Woman Raped At Her Apartment Building

2/5/2016 11:17 AM

The woman told Sioux Falls Police she believes the man followed her into her apartment.

Full Story
Storm Center Update- Monday AM

2/1/2016 5:26 AM

A quiet weather day is ahead for most of KELOLAND ahead of winter storm headed for the southeast.  Blizzard watches and warnings are posted for m...

Full Story
Drivers Breaking The Law

2/2/2016 5:00 PM

No travel is advised in many areas of KELOLAND Tuesday night.  Interstate 29 from Sioux Falls to Sioux City is closed and probably won't reop...

Full Story | Watch


Events