Hill City brings its logging festival back

Logging is big part of life here in the Black Hills; especially now, as crew work to remove diseased trees from the pine beetle infestation.  After a 7 year break, the Heart of the Hills Logging Show is drawing a big crowd and even bigger excitement for the people who are eager to take a chip off the old block. For Ana Deanda and her family their lives depend on logging.

“It’s really important but more important for us Hispanic people because that’s the support for all the families,” said Deanda, one one of the logging competitors. “That’s the first job.”

The Deanda’s emigrated from Mexico 24 years ago to join their family’s logging business in hill city. As a family, they compete in the heart of the hills logging show 20 years and counting.

“This year I encourage my daughter Berta and so far she’s going to do good in the axe throw,” said Deanda.

That same encouragement is what led James Moss to enter into his first logging competition on Saturday. It used to be a real good time when I was growing up, my dad was in it before and I figured I should be in it,” said Moss, a logging competitor.

The nearly 700 spectators including tourists came to see the show that has been on hiatus for the last seven years.

“Events like this and seeing the public out there makes us believe that maybe we’re making a difference,” said logging contractor Erin Shockey.

“Logging is very important to the Black Hills, very important,” Moss said. “I mean the bugs are taking over and we got to try and beat the bugs.”

“It’s slow because of the weather but it’s a lot of stuff to do with the beetles that attack all the beautiful trees we have,” said Deanda.

Trees that make up the livelihood of many families here who say that livelihood, the logging industry, should be celebrated. Loggers say they hope the Hill City Chamber of Commerce will bring the show back next year.

There’s no word on why the show was put on hiatus for the last seven years.

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