THE SOUTH DAKOTA BARK BEETLE CAPER

By

Adrian S. Juttner, Daniel P. Checkman and Darrell D. Magnus

 

Abstract

A comparison of 8 different materials for mortality to Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonous ponderosae) done in 2002 was interrupted by a 7 year hiatus.  From 2009 through 2013, numerous field sites in South Dakota, Montana and Colorado were sprayed with a field preparation of a mixture of an entomopathogenic fungus (Class Zygomycetes, Order Entomophthorales)  and the nematode Steinernema carpocapsae produced dramatic positive results only to be repeatedly suppressed by the state and federal government-sponsored forestry establishment.  Description of the work and a discussion of possible motives are included.

Introduction

The town of Deadwood, South Dakota was so named because it was founded in the middle of a forest of beetle-killed Ponderosa pine trees around 1870.  The first government scientists came to the Black Hills to study pine bark beetles in 1906.  Today, this insect (Dendroctonous ponderosae) and its relatives are at the center of an unfolding  catastrophe of dead trees, forest fires, floods and landslides all over the American west.  This is not one of science’s most shining moments.  Apologists will say that the underlying cause is global warming and the exclusion of fire with the concomitant buildup of fuels in the west.  This paper will suggest otherwise.  We will suggest that the cause is a perfect storm of bad science, a gridlock of environmental laws and fascist-style bureaucratic bungling.  Perhaps, the proof will be found in the photos, tables and anecdotes here.  But, whether if we succeed in convincing you, the reader with our scientific diligence or not is moot.  Then, certainly a pattern of persecution, stonewalling, bullying and threats that we have received from the western forestry establishment would cause any reasonable person to wonder.  Had it not been for the cooperation of the late Mr. Art Janklow of the Mystery Mountain Resort of Rapid City, South Dakota, acts of insubordination, criminal trespass, civil disobedience and the passage of more than a decade, this paper would not have been possible.

Mystery Mountain Resort: On U.S. 16 west of Rapid City, S.D.

 Fig. 1: Mystery Mountain Resort on US 16, west of Rapid city, S.D.

Fig. 1: Mystery Mountain Resort on US 16, west of Rapid city, S.D.

 

Here in the Southern United States we have several species of bark beetles infesting pine.  Bark beetles in industrial pine forests are controlled mostly by eradication.  The forest is scouted for areas of infestation and the timber is harvested immediately.  Turpentine beetles breed in cut stumps, so annual clear-cut areas are separated by large buffers of uncut forest to prevent buildups.   Sprinkler systems are laid atop log piles at mills to prevent buildup of bark beetles.  New bark beetle infestations are known to be initiated by simply being on the truck route to the mill!  Beetles leaving pine logs hit new pine trees on the way.  Southern forests are blessed with diversity.  There are 4 major species of southern pines and at least 5 minor ones  The land mass of the south is more diverse, with pine forests interspersed with cypress and tupelo swamps, extensive hardwood stands and agricultural areas.  There is no diversity in the Black Hills of South Dakota, with the Black Hills variety of Ponderosa pine being the sole pine species that makes up some 80% of the forest cover.  Most of the forested area consists of   government-owned lands and amenity forests.  Industrial forest land areas are insignificant.  Early detection and eradication of infested trees is not an option and the use of sprinkler systems to control beetle buildups in stored logs is unknown.

The late Dr. Roger F. Anderson, my advisor at the Duke University Forestry School, wrote and lectured about pheromone-mediated mass attacks of conifers by bark beetles.  A typical mass-attacked (green hit) pine tree would have about 300 beetle hits.  Each hit would contain about 30 developing larvae.  This yields a potential of about 9000 adult beetles emerging from a single tree – enough to infest and kill more than 10 acres of pine trees.    A logical control strategy would target the larval stage of the insect under the bark of mass-attacked pine trees.  This would be done by scouting, then spraying the trunks of “green hits” with an effective insecticide.  This had been the standard procedure in western forests for decades.  Problem is: the only effective pesticide is Lindane, or Gamma Benzene hexachloride.    It is a potential carcinogen and persists too long in the environment.  It has been banned by the EPA.  Traditional sprays were a nasty mix of Lindane and diesel oil.  These were applied to trunks of infested trees with backpack pump sprayers.  Operators would clean out clogged nozzles by placing them in their mouth and blowing.  Since there is no effective substitute on the market and the pesticide shelf in South Dakota is nearly bare, a subtle bait-and-switch has been made.  Sevin and Permethrin insecticides are incapable of killing beetle grubs under the bark of pine trees.  But, they are now recommended as a prophylaxis to spray on ALL the uninfested pine trees in a stand.   This would turn an insecticide into an insect repellent.  That means that a private forest owner in the Black Hills would be required to do an annual spray of a big chunk of the environment with expensive and ineffective chemicals that are nerve poisons that can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled – simply to keep beetles away.  The potential for collateral damage to the environment is enormous.  This is the opposite to the spot treatment of only bonafide infested trees and leaving the rest of the environment alone.  The repellency idea is being stretched with Verbenone-based treatments which are poisonous and also very expensive.

 

Materials and Methods

“Our fungus” and Koch’s postulates – Before gathering the materials for our  South Dakota bark beetle derby, we performed Koch’s postulates to see if, indeed, “Our fungus” was capable of killing the larval stage of Dendroctonous ponderosae.  There was some doubt, after all, since previous testing on Tribolium castaneum and Small Hive beetles in Louisiana failed to produce significant mortality.  Fructifications of “Our fungus” are apparent in Lactophenol-cotton blue stained larvae viewed at 100x and the infection from these was successfully passed to new beetle larvae and recovered in culture.  Koch’s postulates were fulfilled.

“Our fungus” : Erumpent fruiting on dead bark beetle grub – 100x

Fig. 2 - Fructifications of "Our fungus" on the cuticle of Dendroctonous ponderosae grubs at 100x.

Fig. 2 – Fructifications of “Our fungus” on the cuticle of Dendroctonous ponderosae grubs at 100x.

The 2002 South Dakota Bark Beetle Derby – During the months of February – April 2002, areas of the Black Hills National Forest were scouted to locate green, beetle-infested trees.  On April 15, 2002 six infested Ponderosa pine trees, ranging from 12 to 24 inches DBH were felled, bucked into 2-foot sections and hauled to the equipment yard of the S.D. Dept of Resource Conservation & Forestry in Rapid City.  The logs were oriented vertically and the top of each was painted with white latex paint to reduce the effects of desiccation over the duration of the experiment.  The logs were grouped into 9 groups representing the materials to be tested plus an untreated control.

Infested pine bolts grouped for treatments. S.D. Forestry Equipment yard, Rapid City, March 2002

Fig. 3: Logs arrayed in groups for field testing

Fig. 3: Logs arrayed in groups for field testing

Lindane was obtained from pre-ban inventory in Louisiana and was mixed with water (not diesel oil) at the label rate of 0.156% a.i.  Carbonyl (Sevin 50%WP) was mixed with water at the label rate of 0.926% a.i.  Permethrin (sold as “Astra” in South Dakota) was mixed with water at the label rate of 0.316% a.i. disodium octaborate  (Tim-bor) is labeled for control of bark beetles but not available in South Dakota, was brought up from Louisiana and mixed with warm water to dissolve all solids at the low dose (10%) label rate.  The biologicals were mixed at comparable rates since none of these were labeled for bark beetle control.  Bacillus thuringiensis, var San Diego, which is labeled for control of Elm leaf beetle, was mixed at the label rate for that insect.  Metarhizium anisopliae, sold in Texas under the “Bio-blast” label as a termiticide is a common fungus used in entomology, and was applied at the label rate.  “Our fungus” spore suspension was obtained by blenderizing the product of 4 post-log (approx. 5 day old cultures on petri dishes) into 1 Liter of water and using 50 cc. of this mixture together with an additional 1 Liter of water as a final spray solution.  Steinernema carpocapsae is sold as “Termask” by Rincon-Vitova Corp. of Ventura, California.  It comes in packets containing 50 million worms.  Approximately 5 million worms were mixed with 1 Liter of water to make up the final spray solution for its group of logs.

Mixtures of each appropriately measured insecticide were loaded into a “Windex-type” hand pump sprayer and all the logs in a group were sprayed until runoff.  The Control group was sprayed first with plain water.  No stickers, wetting agents, brighteners or anti-desiccants were used.  Individual logs were selected from each group periodically; Bark squares around entry holes were chiseled away, revealing the cambium and the developing beetle grubs.  At least 100 individuals were examined from each group at each time frame.  A 4 week interval from the initial spray was selected because of a good dispersion and the results are listed in Table 1 in the “results” section of this paper.

Treatment of infested pine trees in the field 2009, 2011 and 2013 – Before planning a mass treatment, the forest needs to be scouted and all the infested pine trees marked with log marking paint at breast height facing out of the woods so they can be easily located and accessed.  Trees at Mystery Mountain were differentially marked with Nelson aerosol with symbols particular to the treatment year so that trees could be differentiated by year of treatment and detailed assumptions made.  To avoid detection on National Forest property, the trees were sprayed first, and then grossly marked with Nelson Red boundary marking paint from gallon cans with a brush just before leaving the scene.  A 5-gallon tub of diSodium octaborate was left at Mystery Mountain Resort for spot treatments of new beetle hits by the operators there in off-years when we were not present.  It was deemed safe and its effectiveness could be boosted by the addition of 0.3% of an excellent surfactant “Sil-spread”, a (100% polyether-polymethlysiloxane-copolymer; a la Southern States, Inc. Richmond, Va.).  We applied only a mixture of “Our fungus” + Steinernema carpocapseae that we call “Pork’n’beans” because we had confidence in the mixture from a long application history in Louisiana and because it was a bonafide, non-chemical biological control agent.  Field application required the use of a Stihl (R) SR-450 mistblower powered by a 5 h.p. 2-cycle gasoline engine.  With the aperture set at the maximum output, this machine could be easily transported into the woods and be able to reach 30 feet up the trunks of at least 10 infested pine trees on a single 16 liter spray tank.  Field mixtures of “Pork’n’beans” were mixed at the concentrations listed before, except that 2% Safety oil (“Tri-tek” brand of 80% emulsified mineral oil a la Brandt Consolidated, www.brandt.co) and 2% molasses (purchased in bulk, by the ton in 30 gallon plastic barrels from the sugar refinery in New Iberia, Louisiana) was added to the mixture to serve as a brightener and anti-desiccant.  The 2009 and 2011 trips to the Black Hills were made in rented Chevy HHR cruisers out of Louisiana that were packed with gear.  By 2013, Mystery Mountain had its own mist blower and an inventory of materials, so the trip could be made by commercial airline at a significantly lower cost with 4 days less time spent on the road.

Working out of a rented HHR Cruiser: Black Hills National Forest

Fig. 4:  Rented Chevy HHR cruiser loaded with gear at an unobtrusive location on the Black Hills National Forest.

Fig. 4: Rented Chevy HHR cruiser loaded with gear at an unobtrusive location on the Black Hills National Forest.

Results

The 2002 South Dakota Bark Beetle Derby –   After 4 weeks, a good dispersion between the 8 treatments and the controls had occurred.  The dispersion became apparent in as short as 2 days after treatment.  When beetle grubs were examined at 4 weeks, the dead ones had already began to disintegrate in the galleries, making a tally more difficult and possibly leading to an under-count of the higher mortality groups.  Deaths of beetle grubs were more likely to occur after 21 days than after 2 days from treatment.

Mortality of MPB grubs in situ 4 weeks after treatment

Table 1: Mortality to bark beetle grubs in situ 4 weeks after treatment.

Table 1: Mortality to bark beetle grubs in situ 4 weeks after treatment.

 

Of the chemical treatments, the Carbaryl and the Permethrin treatments produced mortality figures that were not significantly different from the controls.  The Lindane and the diSodium octaborate treatments did produce significantly higher mortality than the controls with the Lindane treatment producing the best results.  In earlier days, the substitution of diesel oil for water would have probably raised the mortality figure further.  Though, untested in this study, I added a 0.3% organosilicate surfactant to the diSodium octaborate treatment left for the folks at Mystery Mountain.  As a GS-4 Forestry Aide on the Umatilla National Forest in Oregon in 1967, I discovered that the addition of a bit of dish soap  to a water solution poured on Lodgepole pine logs caused penetration of the water to the cambium and allowed for easy debarking for use as fence rails.  The organosilicate acts as a super dish-soap and should move a toxic concentration of borate to the cambium where the grubs are located.

Of the biological treatments, the B.t.San Diego. and the Metarhizium produced mortality that was not significantly different from the controls, but “Our fungus” and the Steinernema worms did produce a significant kill.  Cadavers were examined under the microscope.  One dead grub from the Control group yielded a Corynebacterium shaped rod.  (C. diphtheriae is a human pathogen of the lung.) One of the dead grubs from the Metarhizium group had heavy Cladosporium or Metarhizium fruiting from the cuticle.

Field treatments at Mystery Mountain 2009, 2011 and 2013 –  Treating marked, infested trees at Mystery Mountain at odd-years produced results that could be nuanced and yield intuitive inferences after close examination.

Mystery Mountain pine tree spray  treatments

Table 2: Trees treated and mortality at Mystery Mountain, 2009 -2013

Table 2: Trees treated and mortality at Mystery Mountain, 2009 -2013

From the table, it can be seen that, while the beetle mortality in the Black Hills was rising dramatically during this period, the number of new hits at Mystery Mountain was actually declining.  Death of pine trees is caused by an infection of a Ceratocystis fungus which is inoculated into the pine tree by the female beetle at egg-laying time.   Therefore, subsequent death of trees may be irrelevant to the actual suppression of new beetle emergence following treatment. The effectiveness of the spray is best gauged by the decline in new beetle hits even though a treatment was skipped in years 2010 and 2012.  The initial spray treatment at Mystery Mountain was made on Sept. 3-4, 2009, when the high temperature was still hovering around 90oF.  On about July 5, 2010, we made an observation trip (no treatments) to Mystery Mountain and the Black Hills. By that time, just 2 of the treated trees had died and 2 new hits were recorded.  These would have undoubtedly been 2 of the 12 dead trees recorded in 2011.  One of the trees from the 2009 treatment was a complete failure – boiling with beetle grubs and had to be felled, with the trunk sprayed with TimBor to prevent further infestation.  This failure might be explained by the high ambient temperatures at the time of the spray.

The second treatment trip to Mystery Mountain occurred on August 31, 2011 towards the end of the beetle flight period.  42 new beetle hits were found, some were hit a few times and may have been “pitched out” by the trees, but some were loaded with beetle hits, requiring careful spray and monitoring in 2012.  Some (about 10) trees were hit late in 2010 after our examination of July 5.  These trees were already dead and had spread infestation to the surrounding stand.  The “Pork’n’beans spray treatment was made over a 3 day period with the high temperature running to 95oF – not ideal for these biologicals.  Chokecherry (Prunus sp.) trees growing in the understory that were grossly infested with occluded scale were also sprayed with Pork’n’beans.  The rationale was that these insects, with known susceptibility to “Our fungus”, would build a reservoir of inoculum on the property and help keep the beetle hits down.

The illness and death of Art Janklow II during 2012 to the middle of 2013 prevented any follow-up on the Mystery Mountain property until our 3rd trip there on Oct. 28 – November 4, 2013.  Not only had the weather cooled, but a historic snowstorm had occurred on October 4, which broke up 208 pine trees on the property – far greater damage than the beetles had done to date.  A second snow storm bottled us up on the property for the first two days.  Only 12 of the 42 active “hits” of 2011 were dead, the rest were green and healthy.  By this time, the pitch tubes from the survivors of the 2009 treatment had mostly rubbed off.  Only 2 trees were hit and died during all of 2012 on the entire 40+ acre property.  I recommended using the Anderson method for beetle control for 2014: make log piles of 6 trap logs each scattered around the property.    After the beetle flight of 2014 is over, either debark the logs or spray them with TimBor.  We sprayed only 13 new hits this time.  Wetter weather and more inoculum on the site probably contributed to better spread of “Our fungus” and poorer survival of bark beetles.

Darrell with live pine tree, treated in 2011 and still alive: Mystery Mountain, Oct. 2013

Fig. 5:  Darrell Magnus with a survivor pine tree at Mystery Mountain, Oct. 29, 2013

Fig. 5: Darrell Magnus with a survivor pine tree at Mystery Mountain, Oct. 29, 2013

 

Black Hills National Forest treatment plots, 2009, 2011 and 2013 – Two plots of about 20 acres each were maintained on the Black Hills National Forest for this entire period. Our bad relations with the USFS and S.D. forestry demanded that these plots be kept unobtrusively.  Both were located in the middle of large, very active beetle-kill zones.  These were probably a worst-case scenario with death of trees and spread of beetles absolutely certain.  One was located above the Deerfield Junction above Hill City, S.D. and the other was located near Rocheport, S.D.  Both of these plots are connected by a massive beetle kill that runs to Mt. Rushmore and towards Custer, SD, including all of Harney Peak, elevation 7242, the highest point in South Dakota.  Results of the period are summarized in Table.3:

Fate of treated green hits on BHNF property

Table 3: Summary of 2 plots on Black Hills National Forest property

Table 3: Summary of 2 plots on Black Hills National Forest property

Ninety-five trees were sprayed at these 2 locations initially about September 5, 2009.  Some of the hits ran fully up to 30 feet up the trunk and required the full capacity of the mistblower.  We averaged 20 trees per 16L tank mix of Pork’n’beans.  Green hits were marked with an “A”, dead trees, not sprayed in the stand were marked with a cross.  Many hits on the edges of these areas remained untreated due to insufficient time and materials.  Only 10 trees survived to 2010 and remained so to 2011.  These were found to be marked trees with green crowns and pristine cambium (no beetle galleries seen under sample cut-outs.)   But, there were very few NEW hits observed in the margins of these 2 areas.  By 2011, the beetles were rolling again and 330 new trees were sprayed and painted.  It took 7 tanks of spray to cover 330 trees this time.  This is a massive area of beetle kill, with hit trees moving uphill, but a few trees from the class of 2009 still alive, including a 30″ pine down slope.

BHNF beetle area a la “Occupy Wall Street”

BHNF beetle area a la “Occupy Wall Street”

BHNF beetle area a la “Occupy Wall Street”

We didn’t spray any trees on BHNF property in October 2013, but reviewed the two plots.  This time, almost all of the 330 trees sprayed in 2011 were dead.  There were only 10 trees left alive.  In the four years since the first treatments of 2009, extensive root rot, conks of Fomes applanatus and wind throw were evident. But, unlike in 2011, there were no new beetle hits seen on the green trees at the lower end of the kill area.  It was unsafe to walk through and check the upper side.  Nearby pine thinnings also had a high percentage of blowdown.  This may be due to Annosus root rot.  Treatment for this condition included spraying cut stumps at the time of thinning with borates or urea.  This procedure is also unknown in the Black Hills.  Perhaps, we had tapped the brakes on the rolling beetle front twice and stopped them here, it seems.

BHNF area, Oct. 2013: Survivor trees

Fig 7 BHNF plots, October 2013, few survivor trees and green trees at edge have no hits on trunks.

Fig 7 BHNF plots, October 2013, few survivor trees and green trees at edge have no hits on trunks.

BHNF area, Oct. 2013, No new green hits on the front (trees on right)

Fig 8 BHNF plots, October 2013, few survivor trees and green trees at edge have no hits on trunks.

Fig 8 BHNF plots, October 2013, few survivor trees and green trees at edge have no hits on trunks.

Results of Tree treatments in Billings and Laurel, Montana, 2009

Four treatment areas were set up in the Laurel-Billings area in 2009.  Two hundred “green hit” pine trees were sprayed in Billings city park in October 2009.  Though still green the following spring, all trees were removed by the city.

City of Billings Forestry Bureaucrat: “Sorry about that.”

Fig 9: "Sorry 'bout that."

Fig 9: “Sorry ’bout that.”

 

12 trees were treated at 1331 Ridge Rd. in Laurel, Mt. on Sept. 8, 2009.  Of these, 9 were still alive on July 12, 2010.  There were 154 trees surrounding the Caterpillar Tractor franchise on the south service Rd. @200 blvd. exit I-90.  They were mostly Ponderosa pines with some Scots pine mixed in.  This study was complicated with random application of Verbenone patches and poisoning of some trees with Pichloram herbicide.  In 2010, we tallied 24 treated trees, 8 dead for a mortality rate of 33%

The grounds of a private home located on the rim rock below the Billings Airport had 30 pine trees hit, then sprayed with Pork’n’beans in Oct. 2009.  There was 100% survival noted on July 10, 2010.  As of November 2013, 100% of these trees are still alive.

Darrell Magnus at private estate in Billings, Mt.: All trees survived

Fig. 10: Surviving Pine Tree, note beetle hits

Fig. 10: Surviving Pine Tree, note beetle hits

Two hundred and fifty Ponderosa pine “green hits” were sprayed with Pork’n’beans on a 160 acre ranch off Highway 287 north of Ft. Collins, Colorado on September 10, 2009.  By this early date, upon examining the cambium around a nuptial chamber, it was noted that the eggs had already hatched and each young grub had already tunneled an inch from the nuptial chamber.  These trees were cut down and removed within a year of treatment but were still alive and green at the time.

Discussion

Landowners seeking to disinfest the bark beetle-ridden pine trees on their property have few options available to them.  They can fell the infested trees and either debark them or remove them to a location at least 2 miles away.  They can bag each and every log in plastic and attempt to kill the larvae by solarization (very impractical).  They can use large quantities of poor insecticides on their entire stands, or Verbenone patches in an attempt to repel beetles.  Repellency is also a poor option because it simply shifts the mass flights of beetles and tree damage somewhere else.  Bark beetles have a flight range of over a mile.  The total damage potential to the forest remains the same.

We have puzzled and debated the reasons for the bad behavior that we have experienced from government forestry over the years.  We have tried to come to grips with the underlying rationale behind efforts to quash a (perhaps naive) and altruistic effort to control a pest that is causing the death of millions of acres of trees.  Why would people behave this way?

The value of all of corporate America is continuously and instantaneously maintained by securities trading of a small percentage of outstanding shares on the floor of the NYSE and other exchanges.  The owner of a herd of cattle on a ranch can value the entire herd on the basis of the prices received for a few animals sold to an abattoir.  In the case of the 190 million or so acres of public forest managed by the U.S. Forest Service, timber sales and harvesting on public lands has been almost eliminated by misguided environmentalism and bureaucratic inertia.   In addition, the lack of a single-payer national health plan places American loggers at a disadvantage against other nations in this low-paying and dangerous occupation.  Our workmen’s compensation rates run ten times higher than those in Canada. It is cheaper to cut a tree, mill the lumber and ship it to the U.S. from Canada – and even Siberia than it is to produce it at home.   Therefore, the market value of all the green timber on Federal lands is zero.   But, DEAD timber produces better forest fires and paychecks for fire fighters and the aircraft industry.  Instead of cutting a million acres of allowable cut of usable wood into perpetuity, (This is called “Forest Management”.) we are now burning 5 million acres of trees every year.  Don’t expect any progress with bark beetle control from Federally-employed scientists any time soon!

State government also has a conflict of interest as well.  In order for a pesticide to be legally labeled for use in the United States, it must pass muster with the EPA.  Testing for efficacy and safety costs millions of dollars.  THEN, the candidate pesticide must pass muster with EACH state where sales would be expected.  In a state like South Dakota, payments for a shoddy testing program with only a few potential clients might look like a bribe in the minds of chemical company executives.  They might not want to bet the up-front costs against potential profits.  FIFRA law allows for unregistered use of bio-pesticide as long as they are of domestic origin.  We believe that the agriculture enforcement arm of the states of South Dakota and Montana had overstepped their authority when they threatened us.  This policy seems to be more self-serving than beneficial to the public.  Also, additives, adjuvants, stickers and anti-desiccants are not regulated by pesticide laws in the various states.  It is not illegal to spray molasses on plants on your property.

DiSodium octaborate and associated chemicals are very safe.  They are active ingredients in safer insecticide products.  Boric acid is used as an eye wash.  Borates have been added to water used in air drops on large forest fires and as a stump treatment for conifer thinnings to keep Annosus root rot out of the stand.  The product is labeled for bark beetles, but since the product is cheap and probably lost its patent protection, there is little incentive for a manufacturer  to market it in a low-population, northern state.

It is easy to visualize thousands of microscopic nematodes crawling around on pine bark, finding the ovipoisiton holes leading to the growing beetle grubs and devour them.  It is harder to visualize a fungus with only a rudimentary mycelium finding its way through 2 inches of pine bark to its quarry.  The known method of spore dispersal makes “Our fungus” a very good candidate for dis-infesting large areas of forest.  Work at Mystery Mountain suggests that it can move from a treated tree to an untreated tree nearby and kill those beetle grubs as well.  By creating a reservoir of infection using other insects (particularly orders Homoptera and Hemiptera) we can create a multi-year dome of protection for forest property.  It would be logical to plan a scouting operation of the Black Hills in August and begin to spray trees in mid-September, continuing until snow and bad weather shut the operation down.  Further scouting could continue during mild periods all winter with spraying resuming in the spring.  The observation that “Our fungus” can move to untreated trees on Mystery Mountain leaves the door open to the use of helicopters in a general area-wide spray program of inaccessible areas.

A.A. Berryman plotted population curves for pine bark beetles showing a rise from low endemic levels to high epidemic levels and back down again.  The falling curve may be due to a lack of food, when the supply of live pine trees runs out.  It can also be caused by a rise in the numbers of parasites and predators.  Entomophthoralean fungi are ideal parasites, able to muster an explosive growth and reproductive rate, kill bark beetles in the egg and in the larval stages – then disappear from the environment like smoke, completely undetectable by scientists.

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authors:

Adrian S. Juttner,(B.S., forest management, Univ. of Missouri, 1968; Master of Forestry (Entomology/Pathology) Duke University, 1970, PhD candidate in Medical Mycology, Tulane University Medical School 1971-3 formerly Forest Health Specialist, SD Div of Res Consv & Forestry.  Rapid city, SD

currently: president of Adrian’s Tree Service, Inc., Abita springs, La. since 1972.  La. licensed arborist No. 0103, La. licensed commercial pesticide applicator: SD licensed ornamental pesticide applicator (2009)

 

Daniel P. Checkman, formerly Mgr. Medical analytics, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, N.Y.,N.Y.

currently: Dir. Res & Dev. Healthhelp  LLc.,  Houston, Tx.

 

Darrell D. Magnus, USMC retired, partner Magnus & Johnson Tree Service, Laurel, Mt.  Mt. licensed commercial ornamental pesticide applicator.