Neiman Timber Co. donates $50K to beetle fight

DEADWOOD — The Neiman Timber Co., will not give up its fight against the mountain pine beetle, as the sawmill company donated $50,000 to the Spearfish Canyon Mountain Pine Beetle Project, which falls under the Lawrence County Mountain Pine Beetle Program.

“When I look at the importance of trying to control the pine beetle epidemic and the fact that it has the potential of destroying if not all, a good portion of the Black Hills tree stands if it’s not brought under control, that is why we made the donation,” said Jim Neiman. “This epidemic started in 1987 and our three sawmills can’t stay ahead of it. But, with the state of South Dakota and Lawrence County a leading county, along with us giving the county additional funds to help control the epidemic, that seems like a small amount compared to the size of problem the county has.”

In 2012, Neiman Timber Co. donated $50,000 cash and an additional $50,000 for in-kind services to the Lawrence County Mountain Pine Beetle Program. 

“The Spearfish Canyon Foundation has been gracious to offer itself as a conduit for donations made to the county for the mountain pine beetle program,” said Lawrence County Deputy State’s Attorney Bruce Outka, who was recently notified of the donation via a latter from the foundation. “Donations, such as Neimans, are made through the foundation for tax purposes, a charitable donation deduction. The county is grateful for the cooperation of Spearfish Canyon Foundation and Neiman for their participation in the Mountain Pine Beetle Program.”

Neiman said that the company will continue to do in-kind services, but that as of yet, they have not determined how much for 2013.

Outka said that an example of an in-kind service was Neiman using its equipment and operator to clear/open roads so that the cutters could access certain areas, done with the permission of the United States Forest Service.

He added that right now, no specific plans are available for where the funds will be used.

“As for 2013, plans are still being developed for treatments to be implemented in the fall after the bug flight,” Outka said.

Neiman emphasized the importance of getting a hold on the pine beetle epidemic.

“The question that needs to be answered is how can we control and hold back the pine beetle epidemic from spreading until we get timber sales set up to think the forest and create a healthy forest,” Neiman said. 

Bill Coburn of Spearfish Forest Products, a subsidiary of Neiman Timber Company, said that he is very, very proud to work for a company that is a great contributor to the community.

“They’re looking at not only sustaining the forest, but sustaining the community,” Coburn said. “They want to make sure that not only our forests survive, but that our communities survive as well and they’re willing to do just about anything to do it.”

Neiman reiterated his company’s thanks to Lawrence County for taking a proactive stance in the pine beetle battle.

“This is a really small way to say thanks to the county in stepping forward to address this problem,” Neiman said.

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