Pennington county targets roadside pine beetle trees - KOTA Territory News

Pennington county targets roadside pine beetle trees

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Pennington county expands its focus in the fight to suppress the mountain pine beetle, despite a large budget shortfall.
 
 The county budget for the pine beetle suppression program is close to $300,000 this year.

County employees say $125,000 of that budget is supposed to be from the federal government, but they have yet to receive it.

In the meantime, close to 11,000 beetle infested trees have been cut down in the county.

The program is now shifting its focus to clearing roughly 3,800 pine beetle trees which have the potential to fall onto roadways, largely near Hill City, Rochford and Silver City.
 
"It's kind of the one way in, one way out access areas. So if there is a fire that comes though, it's going to be vital that we keep those right of way's clean," said Scott Guffey, with the Pennington county weed and pest department.
 
County officials say, in some areas of Rochford, there are up to 40 beetle infested trees per acre.

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