Piedmont landowner takes preventative measures against bugs - KOTA Territory News

Piedmont landowner takes preventative measures against bugs


The Black Hills has had its fair share of deadly fires - leaving reminders of where once stood trees by the hundreds.

So, Piedmont resident Bo Hauer has decided to take a little initiative to help prevent wildfire from destroying his property.

"A little preventative maintenance goes a long way," said Hauer. "We're also concerned because of the dry weather we've had that we'll avoid a bad fire situation."

Hauer is taking part in a South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division program that shares the cost of thinning and chipping trees.  He's working with a Wyoming company to cut and chip trouble trees - then spread the mulch around the remaining trees.  The process not only cuts the risk of fire and bug damage, it also helps the remaining trees thrive.

"In chipping the trees, we're taking all of this volatile fuel out of the air and putting it on the ground where it's no longer a fire threat," said Frank Carroll, a forestry consultant.

And, with the IPS Engraver Pine Beetle already leaving it's kiss of death in the area, action needed to be taken.

"It's tinier than the mountain pine beetle, about half the size, but it flies three times in the summer. And so it will hit ten times as many trees in the next flight and ten times as many as those in the next flight," said Carroll.

 Even though there are a ton of trees to be cleared, Hauer says its about peace of mind.

 "During the summer months, when there's lightning, you're always watching. We'll definitely sleep better at night, " said Hauer.

Hauer plans to clear a 10-acre radius around his land. 

It will take about five to eight days for the crew from TigerTree, out of Laramie, Wyo., to finish the first phase of the project.  The remaining trees will then be sprayed to combat the bugs.



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