Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Insect that threatens hemlock trees subject of public meeting
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 13, 2006) - The Kentucky Division of Forestry will host a public meeting on detection of the Hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect that threatens native hemlock trees in southeastern Kentucky.
The insect was detected in Kentucky in Harlan County in the spring. It has caused 80 percent mortality of hemlocks in states where it has been present for several years. The public meeting, to be held Nov. 2 at Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Pineville, will present information on the insect and environmental, ecological and economic concerns related to the potential loss of significant numbers of hemlocks in Kentucky’s woodlands and watersheds.
In the event of significant loss, state and local governments will face issues including liability for dead trees on public land, increased fuel loads for wildland fires, effects of dead trees on tourism and the costs associated with combating an invasive insect.
Public officials, members of the public, civic groups and those who own or maintain public lands are encouraged to attend. The meeting on Nov. 2 will last from 9 a.m. to noon EST. A visit to an infested area within the state park will begin at 1 p.m. and conclude at 2 p.m. There is no charge.
Those planning to attend should contact the Division of Forestry at (502) 564-4496 or (800) 866-0555 by Oct. 23. For more information, contact Tim McClure at the numbers listed.