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Noem Celeberates Increased Government Spending on Pine Beetles

As usual, Dakota War College burps up a Kristi Noem press release without commentary. Congresswoman Noem celebrates herself in noting the Black Hills National Forest's decision on a big pine beetle response project.

Conspicuously absent from Rep. Noem's press release is mention of the price tag: $70 million. She does brag that her efforts helped secure an additional $2 million, but that only highlights the fact that when it comes to boosting her image, Rep. Noem is perfectly willing to forget budget hawkery and bring home the bacon for South Dakota. Explaining why it's o.k. for a fiscal conservative to advocate spending more money on a government program is awfully complicated, so Noem's handlers simply leave that point out of their press releases and hope we won't notice.

One other minor inconsistency left unaddressed by Rep. Noem: the AP report notes that the BHNF's pine beetle plan bulldozes 50 new miles of road through the forest to protect scenic places like Spearfish Canyon... because we all know how scenic logging roads are.


  1. larry kurtz 2012.12.18

    It's too late for the Hills, Cory: clear cut and burn her.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.18

    Everybody stand back, one big burn—that would solve the problem faster than anything, wouldn't it?

    When things are this far gone, do we lose anything by letting the loggers make a profit?

  3. larry kurtz 2012.12.18

    Sure, taking everything but the legacy trees would slow the decimation that white people have visited upon the aquifers and burning would allow the sequestration of carbon deep underground.

  4. Rorschach 2012.12.18

    I always wondered why lumber companies pay private landowners to log their land, or purchase the land themselves. Yet the federal government must spend millions of dollars to have trees removed. Can anyone answer that for me?

  5. larry kurtz 2012.12.18

    bug-stained trees are generally considered salvage.

  6. Jerry 2012.12.18

    I agree with you Cory, loggers could make a profit and taxpayers would not have to foot this ridiculous 70 mill and counting that NOem wants to put upon us. The stained wood could be marketed as I have seen cabinets made with it and the are very beautiful. The wood could be used for Habitat for Humanity for one and as it is standing dry, it would not need so much from the kiln to dry it further for commercial use. The sooner you get rid of this the better it will be for the forest itself as the Aspen and Birch will take their place. Good for the water and great for the leafers in the fall.

  7. Douglas Wiken 2012.12.18

    The Hills need a plant forheat treatment for wood . The processes control moisture and temperature and make the wood really strong.

    With all the unemployed Natives on the reservation they could at least cut wood to keep warm without depending on contributions for fuel oil and propane.

  8. larry kurtz 2012.12.18

    Moving the bug to trees on the Pine Ridge is likely not the answer: conversion to crude diesel in the landing using hog fuels salvaged in logging operations could cash flow more extensive biomass conversion.

  9. larry kurtz 2012.12.18

    Just so you all know: the bug has already won.

  10. mike 2012.12.18

    Noem is a hypocrite.

    This is one reason why she will not run against Mike Rounds.

  11. John 2012.12.18

    The coming Black Hills inferno will likely take a town, or several. It is unforgivable they haven't cut and scrapped the dead and dying trees. It is equally unforgivable they need 50 miles of roads when it is nearly impossible in the Black Hills to get anywhere 0.5 miles from a road and is impossible to get 1.0 miles from a road. Loggers got a lot lazier over the years.

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.18

    Blue lumber for Habitat houses? Good idea, Jerry!

  13. Jerry 2012.12.19

    I wonder if this 50 new miles of bulldozed roads is an addition to the 220 miles of bulldozed roads that were spoken of in the past. If we are building all of these bulldozed roads in the Black Hills, who maintains them after the forest has been clear cut, or while they are being cut? As this is mountains or hills, there will be erosion and other damage that will need a whole lot of repair. The 70 mill on top of whatever other pork will be fried on this boondoggle, is yet another "elections have consequences" mantra we should be clear about. What a money pit! Makes me want to invest in a bulldozer, not.

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