Yes, you read that right. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and Emerald Ash Borer are causing a massive loss of two of the Catskills’ most important tree species. Already well established, these pests are expanding their territory rapidly. We’ve got to stop them or the resulting devastation will change the character of our forests and their viability as habitats for many of the amimals that live in them forever. Come to this lecture and workshop (and look for our May 21 event, too) to learn about the urgency of acting now. Learn what’s happening and how you can help stop it. Only if the hiking community and area residents get involved can we be successful in protecting the Catskills from losing these trees that have defined the region for centuries.
Mark C. Whitmore, forest entomologist at Cornell University, will present a program on controlling the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and the status of the Emerald Ash Borer in the Catskills. The event will be held at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper on May 14 at 1 PM.
Hemlock represents approximately 14 percent of the trees in the Catskill Forest Preserve and in the region. The loss of the major part of this species would have devastating consequences for our forests and on the wildlife that inhabits them. Erosion where hemlock currently stabilizes the soil adjacent to streams would increase sediments in the New York City water supply, eventually requiring the investment of billions of dollars in water filtration systems. Large stands of dead trees would have a shocking visual impact on areas of the Catskills, potentially harming the growth of our rapidly expanding eco-tourism economy.
Mark conducts research on the forest stand dynamics of invasive, non-native forest pest impacts, and he implements biological control strategies aimed at limiting those impacts. He works with professional land managers, state and federal agencies, government officials, and concerned citizens to help them understand these issues and the strategies involved in fighting infestations. Mark has initiated extension projects and provided leadership on issues relating to forest health and invasive forest pest issues throughout New York State. He writes and lectures widely concerning the issue. He is the 2014 recipient of the Excellence in IPM Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM) at Cornell University. Mark Whitmore sinks his teeth into the work.
Join us as we learn how to help control these threats to our environment, recreation and economy.
Mark’s presentation will be preceeded by an introduction to IMapInvasives, a program used to collect and report data about infested areas to a statewide database. It will be presented by Jennifer Dean of the NY Natural Heritage Program.
On May 21, Dan Snider of the Catskills Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) will conduct a field training on identification and reporting of these pests. This workshop will also be held at the Catskill Interpretive Centerbeginning at 1 PM.
These events are co-sponsored by the Catskill Mountain Club, the Catskill Center, the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference, Catskill Mountainkeeper and the Catskill 3500 Club.
For more opportunities to learn how to use iMapInvasives with your GPS enabled device, check the schedule here.