Forest Action Plans: Guidelines for Forests

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Pests and Disease

Ponderosa Pines Face Unknown Disease in Idaho

Officials with the Idaho Department of Lands are asking people not to cut down ponderosa pines with discolored needles until experts determine the cause of the problem - perhaps in late June when the trees start growing new needles.

"It's kind of puzzling," said Tom Eckberg, an IDL forest health specialist. "It has no rhyme or reason and doesn't fit the pattern of typical diseases."

The brownish-red color hasn't been found on ponderosas growing at higher elevations around the region and is limited to lower elevations so far.

Minnesota Prepares for Emerald Ash Borer

Researchers from the U.S. Forest Service are trying to find ways to save northern Minnesota from the emerald ash borer, a tiny pest with a voracious appetite.

Since it was discovered in Michigan nearly 20 years ago, the emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees across the Midwest and Canada.

Nebraska State Forester Prepares for Battle against Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer will create a slow-motion disaster for Nebraska, says Scott Josiah, general of an army of foresters bracing themselves for the fight. "We believe it's already in Nebraska," he said. "We just haven't found it yet."

Josiah, the State Forester and director of the Nebraska Forest Service, is asking members of the Legislature to set aside $3 million a year, not to beat the beetle — "We're not going to stop it," he says — but to help cities slow its march of death across the state.

"This insect will wipe out ash trees in North America," he said last week.

Fungus Threatens North America's Black Cottonwoods

Native black cottonwood trees in North America including in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada are at serious risk of catching a killer, non­native fungus unless researchers can figure out how to stop it, B.C. forest scientists say.

Black cottonwoods are found along B.C.'s coast and are an integral part of the ecosystem as they improve water quality, provide wildlife habitat and prevent erosion, Richard Hamelin, UBC professor and research analyst with Natural Resources Canada, said.

Good News for Eradicating Cogongrass

Over the past decade, USDA Forest Service researchers have been working with university cooperators to find some way to slow down or stop the relentless spread of cogongrass. This last fall, Auburn University researchers reported results that demonstrate, for the first time, that patches of cogongrass can be eliminated completely within three years—showing that eradication of the invasive plant is actually possible for many land managers.

Light at the End of the Tunnel for Emerald Ash Borer?

Reflecting upon the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) situation in Illinois, 2014 was definitely a disheartening year. Sixteen new counties were confirmed positive in this year alone, seven of which were outside the established quarantine. Compare this figure to a total of 34 from when it was first detected in 2006, up to the end of 2013, and we had about a 50 percent increase in confirmed communities.

Tips to Battle MN's Invasives

If we’re not careful, harmful insects and plants could leave scars on Minnesota’s environment. Here is some information from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

What is an invasive species? According to scientists, an invasive species is an organism (animal, insect, plant, pathogen, etc.) that is not native to a specific location and causes great harm to people and the environment because of the lack of natural controls in the new environment.

Smart Phone App Fights Invasives

A Michigan State University scientist has developed a smart phone application to help keep track of invasive species.

The free app is part of the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network developed by bio-geographer Amos Ziegler.

It enables people who think they’ve spotted an invasive critter or plant to photograph it with their phone, make some notes and alert state officials and scientists.

Ziegler says information such as the location, date and time of a sighting can help experts map the spread of unwanted species and develop  plans to stop them.

The 12 Worst Invasives in the US

For some animals, there’s no such thing as a dog-eat-dog world. They rule.

Animals from around the world that stow away in airplanes, ships and the luggage of some smuggler become almost bulletproof when they make their way into the American wilderness as invasive species. Why? They’re new here, and they don’t have predators to keep them in check. Animals that should be afraid of a vicious predator aren’t. Invasive species eat like kings.

$2.5 Million War on Beetles

Much as the Asian long-horned beetle attacked maple and elm trees on the East Coast, the coconut rhinoceros beetle could devastate Hawaii's palm trees and move on to bananas, papayas, sugar cane and other crops afterward. Adult beetles burrow into the crowns of palm trees to feed on their sap, damaging developing leaves and eventually killing the trees.

At this point, eradication is still possible. and the urgency to address the problem is both cultural and financial. 

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