Report: Pine Beetle Epidemic In Spearfish Now Over

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) – A 2016 report from the Black Hills National Forest indicates that the mountain pine beetle that ravaged most of the Black Hills is history.

The Black Hills Pioneer reports the study on last year’s forest health was released Friday and shows that over 94 percent of studied areas had low beetle infestation – less than three trees per acre.

Forest official Scott Jacobson says that while there are some areas with high beetle activity, the overall forest is in good condition.

The report says that out of the forest’s about 1.2 million acres, approximately 2,100 acres saw trees fading from the beetles. About 15,000 acres were noted the previous year.

The most recent epidemic of the beetle, native to the Black Hills, may have been the worst, lasting for about 20 years.

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