South Carolina Forestry Commission
News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2003

PINE BEETLES: WHAT NOW?

(COLUMBIA, SC) - Forestry professionals and elected officials are trying to find markets for millions of tons of wood killed by the southern pine beetle. The Forest Disaster Salvage Council is in a race against time, trying to find answers before the dead timber rots into uselessness.

"Itís a tough situation," said Council Chairman Ashley Faircloth. "There just arenít any easy answers." Faircloth said the problem is many-faceted:
More than 20 million trees are dead, mostly in the upstate;
The dead trees are in over 67,000 separate spots;
After 6-8 months, the dead trees are worthless, even as pulp;
Markets are weak, making it hard to get dead trees salvaged.

The Council is exploring incentives that would encourage more use of beetle-killed wood. A successful incentives program would have to address the profitability of logging and milling the dead timber.

While the current outbreak may be declining, the Council warns that trees will continue to die at least through next summer. Included below are a few points of advice for landowners:

Government cost-share programs are available for cut-and-leave beetle control and for some wildlife management practices. For more information, contact your local Forestry Commission or Clemson Extension Service office.

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For more information, contact: Dr. Larry Nelson, 864-656-4866 or Ashley Faircloth, 803-364-3470


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