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Beetle Infested Trees Keep Campground Closed

beetle killed trees
The look of the forest is “red and dead” where the Mountain Pine Beetle has attacked. (USFS Photo)

The Sam Billings Campground up the West Fork of the Bitterroot remains closed while crew remove trees that are infest or have been killed by the mountain pine beetle.

However, the nearby Boulder Creek Trail #617 has re-opened for hunters to use to access the backcountry during hunting season. The trail had opened during the summer for a few weekends. It now open seven days a week during the hunting season.

The Sam Billings Campground has been closed for much of the year as C&L Tree Management of Darby removes the dead and infected trees. The work will result in about 400,000 board feet of timber for Montana sawmills.

The campground is just one of 11 campgrounds and recreation areas that have been part of the logging operations. That includes removing some trees between the ski runs at Lost Trail Powder Mountain.

The beetle has been destroying thousands of acres of forest in Montana. The Bureau of Land Management has advised hunters in the Centennial Valley south of Dillon to watch for logging traffic on area roads. The work is being done on the west side of Price-Peet Road, two miles from the South Centennial Valley road. Some spur roads are closed and trucks are moving on spur roads and the Price-Peet Road to Interstate 15.

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