Forest health management in South Dakota encompasses a wide array of growing conditions, management practices, and host species.
The division foresters provide more than 1,200 technical assists to private landowners, conservation districts, state parks, and cooperative extension personnel each year. Many of these assists involve injury to individual trees, but many also involve problems with windbreak and shelterbelt trees.
Timely information on current pest problems and results of diagnoses are communicated to extension, conservation districts, and the Department of Game, Fish and Parks personnel, as well as the general public, via weekly tree pest alerts.
The mountain pine beetle program, in response to the epidemic in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, continues to yield positive results. The epidemic shows no signs of decreasing. The mountain pine beetle population increased dramatically in parts of the Black Hills during the summer of 2008, based on the increase in currently infested trees.