Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed HB 1050 Monday, authorizing an additional $2 million in emergency funding to assist counties in fighting the impacts of mountain pine beetle.
The Governor proposed the additional funding to supplement the Black Hills Forest Initiative, a three-year effort to "beat the beetles" in South Dakota which began in August 2011.
"We've been working for several years now to fight this epidemic," Governor Daugaard said. "Communities, counties and private individuals throughout the Black Hills have assisted state efforts and I'm pleased the legislature supported our proposal to get more funding to those local entities."
The additional $2 million will be available immediately as a cost-share to counties actively working to fight the epidemic. State funds will be dispersed on a two-to-one basis with county funds expended after January 1, 2013. No one county can receive more than 55 percent of the total funds available.
To apply, counties impacted by mountain pine beetle should contact Ray Sowers, State Forester with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture at Ray.Sowers@state.sd.us or 605-773-3623.
For more information on South Dakota's efforts to address the mountain pine beetle epidemic in the Black Hills, visit www.beatthebeetles.com .