South Dakota churches pitch in to clear out beetle-infested trees
The state of South Dakota recently identified about 150 mountain pine beetle-infested trees on Camp Judson property that need to be cut down. Two South Dakota congregations have already sent volunteers to help us clear these trees before the state's March 1 deadline for cutting and chunking trees.
A dozen members of First Baptist Church in Rapid City spent a Saturday in January cutting and chopping up nearly 70 trees. God blessed us with mild temperatures that day and no injuries.
First Baptist Church in Winner spent President's Day weekend picking up where the first group left off. More than a dozen men and women took out the remaining trees and cut up downed trees.
State crews finished up their survey and identification of beetle-infested trees on private lands on Feb. 17. Since marking began in September 2011, state and county marking crews have surveyed almost 68,000 acres and marked over 174,000 infested trees on private lands in Custer, Pennington, Lawrence and Meade counties.
It's important we take out these trees by March 1 because other methods must be used to kill the beetles after that date. Other recommended treatments include cut-and-peel to be completed by April 1; cut-and-wrap or cut-and-chip by May 1; or cut-and-haul-to-a-sawmill by June 1.
For more information about the beetle battle in the Black Hills, visit www.beatthebeetles.com.