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SD tribal farmers are unlikely recruits helping loggers chop down pine beetle-infested trees
SPEARFISH CANYON, S.D. (AP) ' American Indians and loggers have been longtime rivals in the forests of South Dakota's Black Hills region. Now they're working together against a common enemy.
Tiny pine beetles no larger than a fingernail have been infecting the trees. It has reached such epidemic levels lately that even the American Indians with steadfast opposition to logging are grabbing saws and pitching in.
Farmer Joe Shark says he doesn't agree with logging but knows in his heart that he's doing the right thing. He was among 15 American Indians who spent a week of logging training this spring.
When the beetles attack, they turn the tree bark a shade of blue. The coloring doesn't affect the strength of the wood, but consumers mistake the fungus for mold or a defect.