Another Black Hills burn scar will be restored after non-native pine planted

As many readers are aware the first US Forest Service timber sale took place in the Black Hills near Nemo but only after nearly all the old growth of every native tree species had been cleared for mine timbers, railroad ties and construction. Native Douglas fir and lodgepole pine are virtually extirpated from the Hills and the Black Hills National Forest is longer a wild thing. The Island in the Plains has been broken for decades but the collapse of select Black Hills ecosystems has been evident since at least 2002

Add the very high number of private inholdings within the Black Hills National Forest that make the wildland urban interface (WUI) very large to one of the highest road densities in the entire national forest system and Region 2 to lots of logging, hardrock mining and pesticides like Carbaryl then understand why over a hundred species in South Dakota alone and a million worldwide are at risk to the Republican Party.
In 1939, the McVey fire burned nearly 21,000 acres in the central Black Hills. The McVey fire is recorded as one of the 5 largest wildfires on the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. Shortly after the McVey fire, the burned area was re-planted and seeded with non-native Ponderosa Pine from outside the Black Hills area. “Eighty years later, there are poor-formed, non-regenerating ponderosa pine that have branches that reach the ground in this area,” said Jim Gubbels Mystic District Ranger, Black Hills National Forest. “These trees create hazardous fuel conditions, as well as poor wildlife habitat.” [Restoration Work Occurring in the 1939 McVey Burn Area Near Hill City, SD]
Forty years ago I logged in the Buckhorn and Moskee, Wyoming areas of the Black Hills when much of it was owned by Homestake Mining Company. At that time it was home to some of the last old-growth ponderosa pine stands in the region.
In August 1936, a wildfire burned approximately 4,700 acres on National Forest lands and 2,400 acres on private lands near the old town of Moskee, WY. The Forest Service re-planted and seeded around 2,500 acres of the burned area with non-native Ponderosa Pine from outside the Black Hills area. [Moskee Burn Restoration Project Proposed]
ip photo: a dense doghair pine stand threatens the Nemo area.

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