WASHINGTON —South Dakota is receiving an additional $1 million from the USDA Forest Service to thwart the spread of the pine mountain beetle in the Black Hills National Forest.
The mountain pine beetles' propensity to kill trees and alter wood properties is being studied in a pair of fatal sawmill explosions and fires in British Columbia. Both the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake and Lakeland Mill in Prince George reportedly were processing mountain pine beetle logs that might have generated finer dust particles.
According to the Sioux City Argus Leader, the additional funds are on top of $8.5 million already budgeted to combat the pesky beetle in the 1.2-million-acre forest in South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming.
Much of the effot to stop the spread of the beetle and potential wildfire risk has involved thinning the forest with varying degrees of success.