RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service is planning a project to control mountain pine beetles in a 50-square-mile area near Rapid City.

The Rapid City Journal reports that the $484,000 project includes timber cutting, thinning and prescribed burns.

An environmental impact statement on the project is available for public review.

The report says the project would treat the vegetation to reduce the pine beetle threat and potential for large-scale wildfires.

The beetles are believed to have killed 4 million trees last year in the Black Hills.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.