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Hunting for beetles, finding treasures

Carrie Moore
Published: Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Many spend hours, days and even decades looking for treasure, but for mountain pine beetle tree markers, the treasure they find is merely stumbled upon.
Priscilla Engen has been marking pine beetle trees for a little over a year and has found many historical and unique treasures.
“I found a stone quarry canyon that someone was going to start in the 1930s but abandoned once the Depression hit,” she said. “I’ve found huge round wheels, arrowheads and many cool looking rocks.”
Engen has also found many horns and an original marker from when Custer State Park was in 16 separate areas, which dates back before the 1920s.
During a routine schedule in the Needles, one team of pine beetle markers stumbled across a headstone marker engraved with two names and a helicopter. The marker was in honor of Darren Mallow, 28, of Black Hawk and Michael Bonner, 41, of Dorothy, N.J., who died in a helicopter crash in August 1999. Mallow was the pilot of the helicopter, who was flying four people from New Jersey on a sightseeing trip. The three survivors were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital the same day.

Many spend hours, days and even decades looking for treasure, but for mountain pine beetle tree markers, the treasure they find is merely stumbled upon.

Priscilla Engen has been marking pine beetle trees for a little over a year and has found many historical and unique treasures.

“I found a stone quarry canyon that someone was going to start in the 1930s but abandoned once the Depression hit,” she said. “I’ve found huge round wheels, arrowheads and many cool looking rocks.”

Engen has also found many horns and an original marker from when Custer State Park was in 16 separate areas, which dates back before the 1920s.

During a routine schedule in the Needles, one team of pine beetle markers stumbled across a headstone marker engraved with two names and a helicopter. The marker was in honor of Darren Mallow, 28, of Black Hawk and Michael Bonner, 41, of Dorothy, N.J., who died in a helicopter crash in August 1999. Mallow was the pilot of the helicopter, who was flying four people from New Jersey on a sightseeing trip. The three survivors were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital the same day.

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