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      More than 200 diseased beech trees cut down

      Beech Bark Disease spread throughout the United States

      Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore recently had over 200 diseased trees along Miners Castle Road cut down.

      The diseased beech trees were removed from a one-mile stretch of road by a contractor that was brought in by the park. The trees were removed because of an outbreak of beech bark disease, which is a non-native disease to the area.

      Beech bark disease was discovered at the park in 2001. Since that time crews have been monitoring the progression of the disease and planned an effective removal for the infected trees.

      "The park is felling the many diseased beech trees along Miners Castle Road and other areas of the park to protect park visitors," said Bruce Leutscher, Chief of Science and Natural Resources. "The operation will also lessen the probability of a catastrophic blow down event that would temporarily close areas of the park and require an emergency response."

      Leutscher added that National Park Service police requires the trees to remain in place on the ground and return to biomass to help replenish the soil for future generations.