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Survey Work Continues

Posted on Mar 4, 2015

Call us crazy, but we have done it again: bundled ourselves up and trudged around in knee deep snow to survey for the deadly Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. This time, our JCC/CWC/RTPI survey team traveled down to Warren County to visit the Hatch Run Conservation Demonstration Area for the second year in a row. This site is loaded with Eastern Hemlock trees that make up a beautiful and valuable riparian zone between the streams and upland forests. We are happy to report that we didn’t find the pest we were after (which is a good thing!) and being in that particular site made us really think. After we completed our survey of 300+ trees, we exited the forest and grabbed some hot chocolate back at the parking lot. As we stood together discussing the beauty of the forest and more about HWA itself, I posed the question, “Now that we have gone through and looked at all these trees and seen how dense the hemlocks are in this particular forest, could you imagine what it would look like if all these trees were killed off by HWA?” Looking at these photos, think for a moment how differently this forest would look with no hemlock trees. It would make quite a difference wouldn’t it? Not only would the loss of the hemlock trees be dramatic, but the loss of other species would be pronounced as well. So many species rely on the habitat that hemlocks create, whether they are on dry land or in the water. While we are surveying and trying to protect the hemlock trees, we are also working to help safeguard a number of other important species to the habitat as well.

Hemlock Riparian Zone

These hemlocks provide excellent habitat for a number of species and even keep the streams at a cooler temperature (due to all the shade they create), making ideal cool pools for fish such as trout.


Hemlock Surrounded by Trail

As you can see there are loads of hemlocks along the trails at Hatch Run.


Healthy Hemlock Needles

These needles are healthy and free from any white woolly dots, which serve as protection for the HWA nymphs during the cold winter months.


Tina and Tricia Surveying Hemlocks

Tina (RTPI) and Tricia (CWC) surveying hemlocks near this small feeder stream (under the snow).


Hatch Run Survey

Our HWA survey team inspecting the underside of the hemlock branches for HWA.


Through active survey work, we all can contribute data that allows organizations such as ourselves and other agencies to determine the spread of HWA throughout the state and within our own county, and treat it in early stages of infestation. We can make a difference and slow the spread of HWA and other invasive species by simply educating ourselves and getting outside to take a closer look for where these pests might be hiding. Throughout the month of March, we will be continuing our surveys on Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy properties and are welcoming volunteers to join us. This Saturday, March 7th beginning at 9am, we will be surveying CWC’s Cassadaga Creek Preserve for HWA. So bundle up, grab some snow boots or snow shoes and come join us in this important work. Also, take a look at our upcoming events where we have announced more survey dates for this month and much more!

See you then!

Elyse Henshaw
Conservation Technician