From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 12 - June 14, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Town fights the Mountain Pine Beetle

by Trey Wilkinson

The Town of Pinedale will be treating all town parks the last week in June in an attempt to save trees from the infestation of the Mountain Pine Beetle.

The Mountain Pine Beetle is native to forests of western North America. Periodic outbreaks of the insect can result in losses of millions of trees.

Mayor’s assistant Lauren McKeever spoke at Monday’s town council meeting concerning the beetle problem.

McKeever, who talked with Assistant District Forrester Chris Fallback, said Fallback recommended the trees be treated before July 1 for optimal treatment.

“Time is of the essence for preventing the spread of the beetle,” McKeever said.

The infestation spreads rapidly with one tree becoming 81 infested trees in just four years. Once the beetles attack a pine tree, they kill the tree.

Community prevention was discussed at Monday’s meeting, as Pinedale resident Paul Rock asked the council what other efforts could be made to help prevent the beetle from killing more trees. Rock asked Mayor Steve Smith and the council if some town money could be put toward efforts to treat trees on private property.

Smith advised Rock that because the town does not have legal jurisdiction over trees on private property, landowners would be responsible for making their own arrangements and paying for their own beetle prevention treatments.

In regards to community prevention, Smith wants to see what the public has to say about the beetle problem.

“Let’s advertise this and see what kind of response we get from the public,” Smith said.

Private landowners should consider removing pine trees that have been infested with the beetle and treat remaining trees for protection of the trees. The beetles can fly long distances, so overall community prevention efforts are advised.

According to McKeever, the more pine trees that are protected, the more effective the prevention efforts will be in Pinedale. Experts believe the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic may last several years, and annual treatments will be required to adequately protect Pinedale’s trees, may of which are well over 100 years old.

“We have some trees in our parks that are 250 years old,” McKeever said.

McKeever requested $5,000 from the town council for treatment, which includes spraying carbaryl, a chemical often used for garden tomato and pepper plants, and the use of the verbenone, pheromone pouches that repel the beetle from infesting trees.

“There are approximately 260 trees to spray and treat,” McKeever said. “I doubt the treatment will cost $5,000; we won’t go over that amount.”

According to McKeever, the cost to spray is approximately $14 per tree and the cost of a pouch is from $20-$23 per tree.

A motion was made by the council to approve $5,000 for the treatment of trees in all town parks and to hire contractor Todd Grause with Green Turf Lawnscapes for the project. The motion was passed unanimously.

The Town of Pinedale will be treating the town park trees June 26 and 27. While treating the pines for the beetle, the parks will be closed to the public. There will also be no spraying near water in the parks.

“Pinedale is obviously named for its pine trees,” McKeever said. “We need these treatments to preserve some of our oldest trees. They are an important part of this town.”

For more information contact McKeever at Town Hall, 367-4136.

For more information on how to prevent an infestation of the Mountain Pine Beetle contact Les Koch, Wyoming State Forestry Division at 307-777-5495,, or Chris Fallbeck, Assistant District Forester, Wyoming State Forestry Division, 367-2199,

In other town action:

• The town council waived a park fee for the Pinedale Fine Arts Council to use American Legion Park on July 22 and Aug. 11 for a couple of events, provided a deposit is in place.

Tim Ruland with the Pinedale Fine Arts Council asked the town council if they could waive the fee as the events are open to the public.

Councilman David Hohl asked what the purpose of the fee is.

Town Clerk/Treasurer Patty Racich informed Hohl that the fee is minimal in the event that extra cleanup is needed after an event is held.

Councilman Chris House reminded the council and Ruland that sprinklers should be marked prior to the event.

• Pinedale resident Kurt Feltner was in attendance at Monday’s meeting voicing his concern for the speed of traffic on South Tyler Street.

“The radar trailer seemed to slow people down for a time, but it really isn’t a huge deterrent,” Feltner said.

Felter expressed his hopes that other access routes to oil and gas fields were being explored so field traffic wouldn’t have to go through single-family residential areas.

“When the drilling begins, that’s when this problem will hit the fan,” he said. “I’m not sure what we need to do to slow people down, but something needs to be done.”

Feltner said mothers walking with children and high-speed traffic aren’t a good combination.

Mayor Smith informed Feltner that alternate routes are being explored at the local as well as state levels; however, Smith said it wasn’t something that was going to happen this summer.

• Daphne Platts with the Sublette County Library and Mark Fixter with Fixter Construction addressed the town council requesting a building permit for the new library.

Fixter said he and Platts were at the meeting to present the library plan and get a permit from the town in order to begin working on phasing the project. Fixter presented three phases and dates for the library plan, including submitting the foundation plan to the town on July 3, submitting the building core plan on July 17 and submitting final construction plans on Aug. 31.

Town Planning and Zoning Administrator Meghan Jacquet informed the council that the building permit was unanimously approved by planning and zoning contingent on the parking variance.

The council approved the building permit unanimously provided the previously approved variance regarding parking was attached to the building permit.

• A number of ordinances were passed at Monday’s meeting including ordinance 411 – annexing adjacent/contiguous land (JMO) to the Town of Pinedale on third reading; ordinance 413 – Rocky Mountain Power Utility Franchise on third reading; ordinance 414 – 2007-2008 budget on second reading; ordinance 415 – building/development standards for condominium developments on first reading; ordinance 416 – entrances for townhouses and apartments front on town street on first reading.

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