Sunday, August 23, 2020

Forest invaders

emerald ash borer photo courtesy DECExplorer policy reporter Gwendolyn Craig has reported plenty of news on invasive species this month — most of it unfortunate.

First came word of the long-expected confirmation of the emerald ash borer in the Adirondacks. That tree killer had long spread throughout the Midwest and East, and in recent years was chewing a circle around the park. Ash isn’t the most abundant species in our high country, but it has cultural and economic significance as well as an ecological role. Gwen will explore all of that in a magazine piece later this year.

Then came confirmation of the park’s second confirmed infestation of hemlock woolly adelgid in the park. Like the first, whose suppression I wrote about last winter, this one was around the edges of Lake George — this time on the east side. That pest is generally scarier to Adirondack ecologists, because hemlocks are relatively widespread and have an important influence on cooling the park’s waters.

But then, late in the week, a hint of good news. Gwen joined a crew on Lake George surveying an removing invasive watermilfoil, and it appeared that recent efforts involving suction of the weeds from the roots up have made a difference. 

Needless to say, these and a host of other invaders — and the state’s evolving management of them — remain important news that the Explorer will cover and analyze online and in future magazines.

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Brandon’s “Explore More” weekly newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
DEC photo.

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Brandon Loomis is a former Adirondack Explorer editor.

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