Bolton Landing, NY – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced on August 11, 2020, the confirmation of an infestation of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) on Forest Preserve lands in the town of Dresden in Washington County. This comes just one week after their confirmation of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in Warren County, on the Schroon River in the town of Chester.
These insects are considered highly destructive and a major threat to Lake George forests. EAB is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American native ash species, while HWA feeds on and kills hemlock trees, a tree species that is very common and very important to the Lake George Watershed and to the Adirondacks as a whole.
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has provided the following statement in response to this unfortunate news:
“It is upsetting to hear that these invasive pests have been confirmed within the Lake George watershed, but not surprising, considering that both are present in so many nearby areas.
“For several years the LGLC has monitored our own preserves as well as on lands owned by our partners for signs of HWA in anticipation of its arrival. We have also worked independently and with the help of partners to further public awareness of the issue. We are saddened by the news of this new infestation but will continue to work to prevent the spread of HWA and to protect our hemlocks. The LGLC will assist any way necessary to help eradicate the infestation on Glen Island, and we will continue our HWA monitoring and outreach/education.
“Unlike hemlocks, which dominate much of the watershed, ash is a relatively small part of our forests here – generally under 10% of the trees in the woods. However, it is an iconic tree and in some places there are thick stands. We have identified ash stands on LGLC preserves and will continue to monitor them for signs of EAB.
“The HWA infestation was identified and reported by a citizen scientist, and the EAB was found by Department of Transportation personnel. Early detection and quick response are very important in slowing the spread of HWA and EAB and saving our native forests, and citizen scientists are invaluable in the fight to protect them. You can help protect our forests by learning more about these invasive insects from the NYS Hemlock Initiative, NYS DEC, the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP), and www.lglc.org/land-conservation/invasives; or by attending a training provided by the LGLC and its partners, such as the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District.
“We have come together to do a great job protecting the lake from aquatic invasive species. We will need to work hard to protect the watershed and its forests from terrestrial invasive species as well.”
If you have questions about HWA, EAB or invasive species in general, are concerned about a tree that you have seen, or would like to attend a training/workshop, please email LGLC Conservation Manager, Monica Dore, email@example.com.