More money needed in the fight against Pine Beetles - KOTA Territory News

More money needed in the fight against Pine Beetles

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The Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic is an expensive fight and Pennington County officials are asking for more money to battle the infestation.   

During Tuesdays County Commission meeting, Weed and Pest Director, Scott Guffey asked that remaining funds from a $670,000 state grant be supplemented into the 2014 budget.

Meanwhile, if the Farm Bill jumps its final hurdle today on its way to President Obama's desk, the fight against Pine Beetles would be taken to the ground. It would do this by streamlining lengthy environmental red-tape on insect and disease infested areas of forests across the United States at the request of a state's governor.

This would help save time with surveying efforts which show that Pine Beetle numbers have not diminished in recent years.   

"In areas that we've been in the past some areas are about even," said Guffey. "Some have gone down, and other areas have increased." 

Guffey says the county has surveyed 1,600 acres in which 23,000 trees are infested.

Guffey is urging state lawmakers to pass SB135 which would give the South Dakota department of Agriculture an additional $2 million to fight the Pine Beetle.

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