May 15, 2012
Contact: Maureen McGee-Ballinger
KEYSTONE, SD: On Monday, May 14, 2012 Mount Rushmore National Memorial began spraying identified trees of high value to preserve the cultural landscape. High value trees are larger than 10 inches in diameter and contribute to the forested views of the memorial. If these trees were gone, visitor views of the memorial would look very different. The trees will receive a preventative insecticide spray that will ensure the forested views of the memorial will remain intact.
The first phase of the spraying took place in June 2010, and those same trees will be sprayed again this year, with over 850 trees slated for treatment during the month of May. Carbaryl 7SL insecticide spray is the chosen product for this project. It has proven success in the Black Hills and in Rocky Mountain National Park to combat the Mountain Pine Beetle. Trees will be sprayed on their trunks by spray units on the ground.
Spraying will occur in the early morning hours, with some visitor areas closed to the public. To ensure the health and safety of park visitors and staff, areas that have been sprayed will be closed to visitors and staff for approximately 3 – 5 hours while the carbaryl dries on the trees. All closed areas should reopen by noon daily. Signs will be posted near the sprayed areas to identify trees that have been sprayed, and once the trees are dry, those areas will be safe to reenter. Areas will be sprayed in sections and include trees along the Presidential Trail, around the historic Sculptor’s Studio and along the nature trail.
“It’s all about standing next to a tree your grandfather stood next to,” according to Incident Commander Bruce Weisman. Weather permitting, spraying will be completed on Friday May 18.