Modified: January 14, 2020 2:21pm
The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, in conjunction with WNY PRISM, the Cornell University Cooperative Extension, and the NYS Hemlock Initiative is presenting a free public event focusing on the hemlock woolly adelgid (“HWA”), an invasive aphid-like forest pest that is currently spreading in Western New York forests. The spread of HWA threatens the Eastern Hemlock, a hugely important tree species that is a critical part of forest ecosystems and provides stream habitat for trout species as well as creating habitat for numerous other plant and animal species.
“Invasive species like HWA pose a serious and ongoing threat to the health of our forests and as Erie County has over 10,000 acres of parkland we need to act to protect these natural spaces. Hemlocks are a vital part of our tree inventory and are considered a foundation species so the loss of them would deal a serious blow to our parks,” said Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy P. Schinzel. “I am looking forward to working with our partners and the public on this educational outreach effort, collaborating to preserve our hemlocks and slow the advance of HWA.”
Volunteers are need for the HWA survey effort. The educational event will take place on Saturday, February 8 at 10:30 AM the Chestnut Ridge Park Commissioner’s Cabin and will cover HWA biology, identification, and management as well as an outdoor HWA survey training. (In the event of inclement weather the event will be held on Sunday, February 9).
Attendees will also learn how to use the NYiMapInvasives app to report infestations. Attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather conditions and wear warm, sturdy footwear.
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/
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