- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Aerial surveys indicate that 4,700 acres of the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota and Wyoming were affected by mountain pine beetles last year.

That’s higher than the 2,500 acres that were affected in 2016 but still below what the U.S. Forest Service considers an epidemic.

The mountain pine beetle is native to the Black Hills forest ecosystem. The most recent epidemic lasted from 1996 to 2016 and affected about 450,000 acres. There have been several others dating to the late 1890s, each lasting eight to 13 years.

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