The Missoula Ranger District will spray approximately 1000 trees with the insecticide carbaryl along a three mile section of the main Rattlesnake Trail (Trail 515) beginning as early as June 13 to protect the trees from attack by mountain pine beetles, which have killed scores of trees in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and the Rattlesnake Wilderness. Only the largest trees, 15 inches in diameter or greater, will be sprayed. The spraying will take place over two weekdays and will be weather dependent.
Recreationists and others will be restricted from the areas of the main trail where the work is ongoing or where it was recently completed to protect against exposure to the insecticide. District employees will be posted at trail junctions and at the main trailhead to advise and educate members of the public of the spraying and trail restriction.
To protect trees within a buffer area adjacent to Rattlesnake Creek where spraying will not be done, employees will attach verbenone packets to trees to repel mountain pine beetles. Spraying will not be done within a buffer of six feet in elevation and 130 feet horizontally from Rattlesnake Creek.
The spraying will begin at 5:30 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. over the two day period. Portions of the main trail will be open to the public, depending on the location of the ongoing or completed spraying.
Signs advising the public of the spraying and pending closure dates will be posted at the main Rattlesnake trailhead once weather conditions allow for spraying and a start date is selected.
For current information on the spraying, please contact the Missoula Ranger District office at (406) 329-3814.
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