The Forest Service will be applying insecticides in recreation sites throughout the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest over the next few weeks. The need for this is driven by the current mountain pine beetle epidemic, which has heavily affected many areas throughout southwest Montana and has already impacted some individual trees within popular recreation areas.
If you’re planning your annual family outing on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, or if it’s your first venture to the 3.35 million acres of Montana woodland, you may note that many of the recreation sites will look different than seen in years past or in the pictures that may have prompted your destination.
“Spraying will begin in June and continue through September with individual tree treatments in those places we know a large majority of Forest visitors and users will be this summer – campgrounds, day-use areas and trailheads. Concession campgrounds on the Pintler Ranger District will be treated after Labor Day,” stated Bruce Schuelke, Reforestation Forester for the Forest. “To be effective, we must spray the green trees before the beetles fly again in mid-summer when they’ll bore into and lay their eggs in new-found trees.” In addition Schuelke stated, “Campground users will notice packets or a caulk-like substance known as SPLAT applied or stapled to trees. These 2”x2” packets and SPLAT are Verbenone and/or MCH and are used to ward away bark beetles in areas that we cannot spray the Carbaryl pesticides because of being too close to water”.
Beginning mid-June and continuing through mid-July depending upon the weather, a Forest Service workforce and contract sprayers will be placing packets, SPLAT and spraying Carbaryl to protect individual pine trees from mountain pine beetles in recreation sites on the following ranger districts of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest:
Dillon Ranger District
Brown’s Lake Campground**
Birch Creek Rental Cabin**
Reservoir Lake Campground & Picnic Area
Bloody Dick Rental Cabin
Sacajawea Campground & Picnic Area**
Crystal Park Day Use Area
Wisdom-Wise River Ranger Districts (406) 832-3178
Willow Creek Campground**
Pintler Campground & Picnic Area**
May Creek Campground
Miner Lakes Campground
Steel Creek Campground**
Twin Lakes Campground
Van Houghton North Campground**
Van Houghton South Campground**
Mill Creek Campground**
Pintler Ranger District
East Fork Campground**
Copper Creek Campground**
Copper Creek Dispersed Camping**
Douglas Creek Cabin Rental**
Spring Hill Picnic Area**
Spring Hill Administrative Cabin**
Flint Creek Campground**
Moose Creek Rental Cabin**
Moose Lake Fishing Access**
Pebble Beach Fishing Access**
Stony Campground **
Stony Rental Cabin**
Anaconda Job Corps
Echo Lake Picnic Area**
Cable Creek Campground
Philipsburg Bay Campground
Rainbow Bay Picnic Area**
Sites marked with (**) will not be closed but will have packets or SPLAT placed on trees to reduce impacts from bark beetles. Signs will be posted at locations where work is occurring with information on the chemical used, and closure period, including a potential time when the location can once again be used. Exposure of the public to Carbaryl spray, Verbenone SPLAT and MCH packets should be minimal to non-existent.
Weather will affect the spraying schedule as application will not occur on windy or rainy days, nor will it be done within 75 feet of water. Picnic tables, fire pits and restroom doors will be covered with plastic during spraying.
Further information about these activities can be obtained from Joan Williams at (406) 859-3211, or Bruce Schuelke at (406) 494-0241.