Black Hills National Forest

Bison Escape Again From Black Hills Pasture

Jan 10, 2020

  Some bison have escaped again from their mountain-meadow enclosure in the Black Hills. 


In The Moment ... December 19, 2019 Show 723 Hour 2

Mark Van Every has spent nearly four decades in the forestry business. Since August of 2016, he's been the supervisor for the Black Hills National Forest. Since his arrival, he's dealt with mountain beetles, new recreation trails, and an extended fire season, among other challenges.

Norbeck Society

A Black Hills forest advocate says the current scale and pace of logging in the forest is unsustainable.

In a letter to the forest service, the Norbeck Society says the pace of logging has stayed consistent, despite insect infestation and wildfire depleting the merchantable volume of timber.

The Norbeck Society is requesting the forest service put a pause on selling timber and asking for a collaberative meeting with forest service officials and the timber industry to work out a plan for 2020.

Chelsea Monks / Forest Service

The US Forest Service teamed up with the Boxelder Job Corps to install a new buck and rail fence in the Bearlodge District of the northern Black Hills.  The Job Corps is a training program through the US Department of Labor providing technical training to young people ages 16 to 24. 

More than a dozen students from the Boxelder Job Corps teamed up with the Forest Service to complete installation of the fence.

Twenty-One Mile Strugis Trail Network Open

Jul 1, 2019

A thirty-year vision for forest land south of the city of Sturgis is coming to fruition.

All twenty-one miles of the non-motorized Sturgis Trail system are complete and open for hiking. It’s part of an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the forest service.

The extensive, multi loop trail system winds through the area of Vanocker Canyon, Deadman Mountain and Veterans Peak south of Sturgis.

In The Moment ... November 6, 2018 Show 455 Hour 1

How has the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota changed? Physically, yes but also the politics and laws surrounding it have changed too.

Bill Coburn is a forestry consultant. November 8th at noon, his speaking engagment is called "The Black Hills Forest: 1874 - 1908." This takes place at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center in Deadwood.

Adria Botella

In The Moment ... July 31, 2018 Show 390 Hour 2

Last week the Black Hills Forest Service signed a post-Pine Beetle Epidemic initiative meant to strengthen the forest against future infestations and wildfires.

Black Hills National Forest Supervisor Mark Van Every says the Black Hills Resilient Landscape Project should prevent another infestation going forward.

SDPB's Lee Strubinger sat down with Van Every for a look at the project, and current forest health. 

In The Moment ... January 19, 2018 Show 259 Hour 1

This weekend marks the annual Burning of the Beetle in Custer, where residents take out their environmental frustrations on the man-made carcass of an enormous, fireworks-filled bug.

Hank Fridell and Paul Horsted are with Custer's Burning Beetle committee.

Charles Michael Ray / SDPB

Last summer’s Crow Peak wildfire near Spearfish resulted in a hub of information being released to the public about the fire’s status.

Fire officials used various strategies to get the word out to the public, but they say one particular approach worked especially well.  

Text message alerts sent to subscribers through the 211 Helpline ensured people received the latest news on the wildfire.

Spearfish Canyon Tours

UPDATE: Black Hills National Forest Service supervisor Mark Van Every issued the following statement in regards to earlier claims the state never reached out to the forest service about Spearfish Canyon.

Crow Peak Wildfire 100 Percent Contained

Jul 5, 2016
Robert Cota / Boxelder Job Corps Crew 15 Fire Program Manager

Officials say the Crow Peak Wildfire is contained. On Independence Day, crews achieved 100 percent containment. The fire burned around 2,700 acres but no structures were lost. Officials say that almost 530,000 gallons of water were dropped on the fire and personnel worked a total of 32,000 hours. All evacuations in the area have been lifted but parts of Higgins Gulch Road, Crow Peak Bench Road and Crow Creek Road remain closed.

Previous stories below

The Mickelson Trail cuts through the middle of the Black Hills. But it doesn’t connect to Mount Rushmore.

A new non-motorized path could change this. The Forest Service is taking public comments on the proposed Rushmore Connector Trail.

The path would zig-zag across national forest land, starting at Hill City and eventually ending at the Mount Rushmore parking lot.  

Officials say SD Game, Fish & Parks applied for a permit to construct the roughly 16 mile trail about three years ago.  

Fallen Firefighter Remembered In Rapid City

Aug 9, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

A large crowd gathered to remember fallen firefighter Dave Ruhl.  

Rapid City residents lined the streets for a procession and filed into a memorial service at the Civic Center.

Ruhl, was a former member of the Coast Guard who became a Forest Service Firefighter in the Black Hills. 

He was on assignment firefighting in California when he was killed on the Frog Fire in the Modoc National Forest.