A complicated balance

As humans, we use the forest in many ways, benefitting from the resources it offers to business, tourism, housing and recreation. Still, we are only one part of a large, diverse population that calls the Black Hills home.

We share the forest with the pine beetle as well as the pine marten. Goshawks, deer, elk, trout, even snails and uncountable insects hang their hats in the vast acres of equally diverse tree species that make up our forest.

But finding a proper balance between our uses of it, the lives of other species and maintaining the best possible conditions for the health of the trees, is a complex issue — particularly because the environment affected by the outbreak is also in some ways responsible for causing it.