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Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands to Hold South Dakota Field Hearing on Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2011 - On Sunday, July 10, 2011 the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hold an Oversight Field Hearing in Hill City, South Dakota on the “Impacts of the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic in the Black Hills.”

Mountain Pine Beetles have spread throughout the West and reached epidemic levels in America’s forests. These beetles specifically infect and kill trees – leaving behind large areas of dead trees that increases the risk of forest fires around homes, businesses and power lines. Since 1997, the Mountain Pine Beetles have infected nearly 4 million acres of national forest across the Black Hills, Colorado and Wyoming.

“The decline of active forest management throughout the West has enabled the extreme outbreak of the Mountain Pine Beetle, which has accelerated the deterioration of our nation’s forests beyond their normal life cycles. Millions of acres of dead and dying timber left in the wake of the beetle’s destruction has increased the risk of catastrophic fires throughout our forests and has impacted recreational access and other multiple-use activities. This hearing will examine alternatives that will lead to better management of our forest resources, leading to the long-term health and vitality of these public lands,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01).

“The pine beetle epidemic is nothing short of a slow motion disaster for the Black Hills National Forest and the region’s economy. With this hearing, I look forward to highlighting how this impacts our community, the roadblocks we face in properly managing the forest as well as solutions that can help us win this battle,” said Rep. Kristi Noem (SD-At Large).

WHO: National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman
Rob Bishop (UT-01),
Rep. Kristi Noem (SD – At Large),
and other possible Members.

WHAT: Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
Oversight Field Hearing on:
“Impact of the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic in the Black Hills”

Witnesses to be announced.

WHEN: Sunday, July 10, 2011
12:30 P.M. MDT

WHERE: Rafter J Bar Ranch
12325 Rafter J Road
Hill City, South Dakota

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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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