The Gallatin National Forest will be applying insecticides in recreation sites on the Yellowstone and Gardiner ranger districts over the next few weeks to treat pine trees susceptible to the mountain pine beetle. The current mountain pine beetle epidemic, which has heavily affected pine trees throughout Southwest Montana, is impacting numerous trees within popular recreation areas on the Forest.
Treatments will begin in early July, and will focus on campgrounds, picnic areas, rental cabins, and trailheads where pine trees provide shade and screening for Forest visitors.
“This short-term inconvenience to the public will be offset by a long-term gain for those using our recreation sites and for the health of our forests,” stated Steve Schacht, Vegetation Management Specialist on the Gallatin National Forest. To be effective, green trees must be sprayed before the beetles fly again in mid-summer, when they bore into and lay their eggs in new-found trees.
Individual recreation sites will be closed to public use for up to 24 hours during carbaryl spraying operations. Signs will be posted where work is occurring. No applications will be made within 75 feet of water. Trees that cannot be sprayed due to their proximity to water will be treated with verbenone and MCH, pheromones that ward away bark beetles. Pheromones are delivered via plastic packets stapled to the trees that may be visible to visitors.
The following sites on the Gallatin National Forest will be treated this July:
Yellowstone Ranger District:
· Pine Creek campground, picnic area, and trailhead
· Crandall Creek cabin
· Shields River campground
· Ibex cabin
· Halfmoon campground, picnic area, and trailhead
· Hells canyon campground
Gardiner Ranger District:
· Soda Butte campground
· Chief Joseph campground
· Colter campground
For more information, visit the Gallatin National Forest’s website at fs.usda.gov/gallatin.