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National group gives award to SD pine beetle fight

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National group gives award to SD pine beetle fight
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PIERRE (AP) -- An organization representing state governments across the nation has given an award to South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard's plan to fight the mountain pine beetle infestation in the Black Hills.

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The Council of State Government has recognized the program as an outstanding government initiative, one of two winners in the Midwest.

The program uses state, private and federal resources to fight the mountain pine beetles that are killing trees in the Black Hills. Daugaard has pledged $4 million over three years to help landowners with identifying and marking infested trees. The program provides half the cost of removing trees.

The program helped 709 landowners in the past year as crews surveyed 115,000 acres and treated more than 215,000 trees on state and private land.

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