RAPID CITY - A budget misstep is forcing Pennington County to dip into emergency funds to keep up the fight against the mountain pine beetle.

County Commissioner Lyndell Petersen tells the Rapid City Journal that the board misjudged the amount of federal funding available when it set this year's budget. The county needs at least an additional $175,000 this year to continue the battle against the pest that has devastated pine forests in some areas of the Black Hills.

The commission will draw $80,000 from the county's emergency disaster fund next week so crews can continue cutting down infested trees through the end of the month. Petersen says it's the first time in at least three years that the county has dipped into the fund that usually covers costs associated with disasters.

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