Foresters available to help detect invasive forest pests

Service foresters working from Conservation Districts across northern Michigan are available for site visits to help spot forest dwelling invasive species.

The Michigan Eyes on the Forest Program is a program focused on increasing the awareness of three invasive species that could be potentially harmful to Michigan forests, should they become established. The program is delivered by Michigan State University Department of Entomology and Michigan State University Extension, with on-site visits available in selected counties from foresters housed primarily in northern Conservation Districts. 

Forestry Assistance Program 

The Forestry Assistance Program (FAP) employs professional service foresters to help forest landowners in Michigan better understand, plan, manage, protect and utilize their forest resources. Conservation District foresters are housed in 20 conservation district offices with coverage to 49 counties in the upper and lower peninsulas in Michigan. The program is administered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). 

FAP Foresters have their Eyes on the Forest 

The Michigan Eyes on the Forest program encourages landowners to be proactive in checking the trees on their property and in their neighborhood for signs of three potentially devastating invasive pests including the Asian longhorn beetle, hemlock wooly adelgid and thousand cankers of black walnut. The goal of the program is early detection and rapid response, meaning that evidence of these and other invasive pests will be detected and reported soon after arriving in an area. Eliciting a rapid response to confirm a new arrival will help eliminate any new invasive pests more quickly. 

The Michigan Eyes on the Forest program is funded by the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program; a portion of the funds received has been dedicated to supporting the travel of FAP foresters to investigate possible sighting of invasive pests in forested settings and to educate forested landowners about what to look for in relation to each of the target and other invasive pests. 

If you own forested land in a county covered by an FAP forester, it is well worth the time to schedule a site visit with the local forester. The foresters can teach you about the best management options for your forested land, invasive forest pests, and help you diagnose and manage forest health issues. Visit the map of FAP foresters to find a forester local to your area.

If you have questions about the Michigan Eyes on the Forest or the Sentinel Tree Program please contact the Program Outreach Coordinator, Russ Kidd at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or myself, MSU Extension Natural Resources educator, at 989-275-7179 or at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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