Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Summit
Gorman Nature Center- Mansfield, Ohio Oct. 8, 2009
What is white and fuzzy and has infested over 1/3 of the hemlock forests in the northeastern United States? The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, the focus of a fact-finding summit sponsored by the US Forest Service, Ohio Division of Forestry and the Greater Mohican Audubon Society on Oct 8th at the Gorman Nature Center.
An alien and invasive insect, which arrived in the US on hemlock used in decorative landscape, has become a concern of major proportions for US Parks and Forests. The importance of Eastern Hemlock- Tsuga canadensis, a keystone species that host an entire ecosystem that cannot be replaced by another tree, makes combating the fuzzy, white sap-sucking insects a high-priority for the managers of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area and beyond. Mohican State Park and Forest would be vulnerable to this insect if introduced locally.
Nicole Stump-Wayne National Forest, Dr. James Dyer- Ohio University, Brad Onken- US Forest Service discuss the monitoring protocol for HWA.
Summit speakers included Brad Onken (Morgantown , WV) USDA Forest Service, Rich Evans (NJ) Delaware Water Gap, Dr. James Dyer and Nicole Stump from Ohio University, and Dr. Dave Horn, a respected entomologist and Director of Ohio Biological Survey. The summit was a brainstorming session for representatives from Ohio’s ecological and scientific communities throughout Ohio.
Early detection and public awareness will be key to arresting the progress of the adelgid in our native hemlock communities. The Ohio Department of Agriculture is monitoring hemlocks being transported for sale in Ohio, and will continue to be vigilant in eradicating hemlock infested with HWA. Many attendees called for a moratorium on all hemlock importation until better monitoring is in place. Dan Basler from the Ohio Division of Forestry, led the round-table summit, and indicated a desire to get information on recognizing and reporting these silent killers of our natural resources to the general public, especially outdoors men and women.
For more information on Hemlock Woolly Adelgids see http://na.fs.fed.us/fhp/hwa/