Black Hills National Forest conducts timber sale - KOTA Territory News

Black Hills National Forest conducts timber sale to stem pine beetle infestation

Posted: Updated: Dec 18, 2013 10:54 AM

The fight against the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation across the Black Hills continues. The latest effort is a 1,500 acre timber sale to thin stands of Ponderosa pines around Sheridan Lake. The Black Hills Forest Service hopes that by sacrificing some trees, they will save the forest.

Nieman Timber is the company who purchased the timber and who brought in Carlson Logging to cut and haul the trees to the sawmill. 

Chuck Carlson, Carlson Logging, operates a skidder. "I'm just skidding the logs from the woods to the landing so the trucks can haul it into the sawmill."

Forest Service officials believe that getting rid of theses trees will prevent pine beetle infestations.  "We're currently today getting into units that aren't heavily invested to kind of reduce the numbers that are going east," said Lance Portlock, timber sales administrator for the Black Hills National Forest.

The forest service is trying to get ahead of the infestation by thinning this area around Sheridan Lake.  "Thinning is reducing the number of trees per acre in order to open it up and reduce the number of trees," said Portlock.  

Fewer trees means less chance of a pine beetle epidemic spreading further.  "By leaving bigger spaces we're anticipating the numbers of bark beetle hits will be greatly reduced,"  Portlock added.

  "Well it helps to maybe curtail a little bit of the pine beetle, there's so many of them but every little bit we do helps and it's just a positive for the industry and the forest itself," said Carlson.  

The price of the trees will not be determined until the harvest is done and all the logs are weighed.

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