Foresters from around the Midwest meet in deadwood to discuss the state of the national forest. Dozens of professionals from Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and Montana are in the Black Hills for the annual Society of American Foresters conference.
This year's theme focuses on the management of our national forest. Organizers say the discussion is especially important this year given this year's unusual conditions.
"A pretty hot topic now with the pine beetle epidemic the extreme wildfires that are going on around the West and we're trying to bring together the latest on where we are going and how do we get to the outcome we all want," said Paul Pierson, Chair of the Dakotas Society of American Foresters.
Speaker Bruce Ward seconds Pierson. Ward is from Pine, Colorado and was evacuated from his home three times this year. He says catastrophic wildfires are a concern to everyone in the West.
"A lot of my efforts are to educate the public on the importance of utilizing wood that the timber industry and active management of our trees is a good thing,' said Ward.
The conference wraps up Thursday with attendees taking a field trip to the forest.