Why You Need It

Wildfires are larger, more destructive, and more unstoppable than ever before.  And there are fewer firefighters to respond to your call for help.  We help you harden your home, you property, your forest, your communities against the fires that are coming.

The mountain pine beetle epidemic is causing great concern across the West.  California just declared a mountain pine beetle emergency.  The attack in the central Rocky Mountains just entered its 20th year.  In the past decade, some 500,000 acres of pine forest have been attacked in the Black Hills, and over 50 million acres are affected across the West.  Masses of tiny, rice-sized beetles burrow into larger pine trees and a year later the conspicuous, red needled trees really get our attention.  Like a slow moving wildfire, these native insects are marching across the Black Hills creating public safety hazards, more dead fuel to feed a wildfire, and unwelcome changes in scenery.

The most important thing homeowners and communities can do is thin their forests and spray the trees they want to save.  Thinned forest trees are more resilient, they have more moisture and nutrients available to fend off beetles, and thinning reduces hazardous fuels.  We help you plan and implement plans to survive the fires next time.

why

Below are excerpts from Black Hills Natural Life magazine article, “Pine Beetles: Friends of the Forest” by PFM co-owner, Frank Carroll.

…We have a huge problem with unprecedented mountain pine beetle attacks and wildfires sweeping up the mess in the aftermath.  This one-two punch of nature hitting the reset button after a century of keeping fire out of the environment will be with us for a while…

 

It’s easy to forget we’ve always had bugs and fire, and we always will.  It’s also easy to forget we’ve always had a beautiful Black Hills forest and we always will.  In fact, the very things that make our forest so beautiful are the result of periodic mountain pine beetle activity and wildfires.  The burr oaks, the aspens, the open meadows, and the many varieties and splendor of our forest trees are there because of continuing natural disturbances…

 

The thing is, ponderosa pine forests aren’t like lodge pole pine or other forest types.  Ponderosa was designed for fire and bugs.  And the Black Hills grow ponderosa pines like no other place on earth…

 

Recent studies completed by the U.S. Forest Service show that, even after a fire, the benefits of living in a place so beautiful and so accessible keep residents engaged, safeguarding property values.  We have amenities in the Black Hills like hiking, dishing, camping, and our bright abundant forest that make people want to live here…

 

Yes, we have to live smarter, especially if we live in the forest.  We need to follow FireWise principles in building our homes, and local governments will have to come up with rules to help us do the right things in the right ways…

 

We talk about our Black Hills a lot and what we can do to get the attention we need to get money and people to help us.  But don’t forget that when it’s all over, there will still be a beautiful forest all around us.  It will look different than it does now in places.  It will be thinner and we will have better views of the country around us…

 

We are lucky to live in this astonishing beauty all around us, and that beauty will still be with us long after the bugs and fire pass by.

Comments are closed