Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Helvig’
By Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent
PINE RIDGE – Twostripes, you’re out: Out chewing on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation’s vegetation – cheat grass, mostly. But this year’s infestation – reported to be the largest in nearly a quarter of a century – is likely to be nothing compared to next year’s prospects.
Of course, that too depends on so many things, according to Bruce Helvig, South Dakota state plant health director. For one, it depends on the number of eggs that survive the first hard frost to await next spring’s hopper hatch.
“This is the worst I’ve seen it in the 24 years I’ve been in the state,” Helvig said, noting that 1985-86 also climbed the charts of hopper invasion history. From there, he backed up into the history of grasshopper plagues in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Nonetheless, Helvig was on the reservation “about two weeks ago” to check out reports that already had predicted a hopper infestation for Western South Dakota this summer.
And, of course, what’s in the middle of Western South Dakota – none other than the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s nearly 4,000 square miles of trust and non-trust reservation land.