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‘Help Me!’ Local Trees Are Calling for Help

Posted on Dec 1, 2014

Area conservation organizations and citizens join hands to prevent spread of devastating forest pests

Collaborative Forest Pest Project – Information Session December 4th from 6:00-7:30pm at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, 311 Curtis Street, Jamestown

Quietly infiltrating the great expanse of forests throughout New York State, invasive pest species are wreaking havoc on countless ecologically and economically valuable trees. As potentially devastating pests such as Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), an aphid-like insect targeting Eastern Hemlock trees, and Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a wood boring insect targeting all of our Ash trees, encroach on Chautauqua County, organizations and citizens are attempting to halt the movement of these deadly bugs.

Through education and early detection the spread of HWA and EAB can be slowed significantly. This winter season, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) is partnering with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCECC) to raise awareness of the invasive species present within the region. In addition, both organizations offer training and resources that empower citizens to assist in monitoring of forest trees on state and private land and can help landowners find solutions to treat infestations.

Elyse Hemlock tree

Elyse Henshaw, RTPI Conservation Technician

An informational session will be held on December 4th from 6:00-7:30pm at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, 311 Curtis Street, Jamestown, to educate interested citizens about how to they can help detect invasive forest pests such as HWA and EAB. In addition, information will be available on how to minimize risk of infection or spread of these pests, as well as information on what to do when infestations are detected.

This winter season, CCECC and RTPI are jointly implementing several programs on Chautauqua County’s winter recreation trails to highlight the potential impact forest pests can have on our area’s woodlands and scenic beauty. Using interactive signs on area Hemlock and Ash trees located near snowmobile trails we intend to increase awareness and instill a greater sense of stewardship for our priceless natural resources. These initiatives provide easy opportunities for all those snowmobilers and other winter outdoor enthusiasts who use the trails to become actively involved in keeping Chautauqua County green and beautiful!

Please consider attending this information session and help us take a pro-active stance against potentially devastating invasive pests!

For more information, please contact: Elyse Henshaw, RTPI Conservation Technician, ehenshaw@rtpi.org or (716) 665 2473 ext. 231 or Betsy Burgeson, CCECC Master Gardener Program Coordinator, emh92@cornell.edu or (716) 665 9502 ext. 204.  Reservations for the info session are not required but are appreciated. RSVP to Betsy Burgeson at emh92@cornell.edu.