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Analysis of the Southern Pine Beetle Suppression Program on the National Forests in Texas in the 1990s

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Infestations of the southern pine beetle (SPB) (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann) affected 7,929 ac of managed forest and 13,346 ac of wilderness on the National Forests in Texas (NFT) during the 1990s. Direct control treatments were applied to two-thirds of the 8,486 infestations on managed forest; the average size of treated spots was 1.3 ac. Inactive infestations averaged only 0.25 ac. Cut-and-remove was the preferred treatment; and only one application per infestation was required for over 97% of infestations treated by this method. Cut-and-leave was applied to 27% of infestations requiring treatment; and a single application was effective for 90% of treated infestations. In wilderness, where SPB suppression was limited due to legal constraints, large infestations developed, killing over 40% of the susceptible host type. In contrast, less than 2% of the susceptible host type was killed in nonwilderness areas of the NFT. Economic analyses indicate the SPB suppression program was cost-effective, with an estimated benefit/cost ratio of 3.55:1. South. J. Appl. For. 27(2):122–129.

Keywords: Dendroctonus frontalis; direct control; economic analysis; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; insect suppression; natural resource management; natural resources; wilderness

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Forest Pest Management, Texas Forest Service, 301 Tarrow, College Station, TX, 77840,

Publication date: May 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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