BRADFORD, PA – June 7, 2016 – Forest Supervisor Sherry Tune has signed the decision notice for the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Suppression Project. The selected alternative will allow both chemical and biological control treatments to manage hemlock woolly adelgid infestations on approximately 147,000 acres on the Allegheny National Forest. “Integrated use of chemical and biological controls appears to be the most promising approach to sustaining healthy eastern hemlock trees in a landscape setting,” said Tune.
The hemlock woolly adelgid is an invasive, nonnative insect that attacks and kills eastern hemlock trees. “Although it is very difficult to predict future hemlock woolly adelgid spread and infestation rates, studies suggest that 50 percent of the forest may have established hemlock woolly adelgid populations in the next 20 years,” said Forest Silviculturist Andrea Hille. “Without treatment, infested hemlock trees will slowly die from the effects of this destructive forest pest.”
The Allegheny National Forest is quickly moving to implement this project and have contracted with an area forestry and natural resources company to treat approximately 830 hemlock trees this month. They will treat selected infected trees at six sites, and will also treat non-infected old growth trees at Hearts Content Scenic Area to protect them from infestation.
Areas that will be treated as part of this project include: areas along streams and rivers; and in old growth and recreation areas. This includes the Hickory Creek Wilderness Area; Hearts Content Recreation Area; Tionesta Research Natural Area and the North Country Scenic Trail.
The project is part of a broader collaborative landscape-level partnership between the Allegheny National Forest and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) that was established in 2012 to develop a strategy for landscape level conservation across all ownerships in the High Allegheny Unglaciated Plateau.