Introducing the Hemlock Restoration Initiative

Hemlock Restoration InitiativeUntil recently, landowners with hemlock trees had few options available for prevention or treatment of the exotic invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), an aphid-like insect that feeds on hemlocks and ultimately kills them. However, the Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) is stepping forward to connect landowners, HWA researchers, government agencies and landowners, among others, to comprehensively address the adelgid invasion.
 
So, how can you help in restoring hemlocks on your property and elsewhere? HRI recommends the following:

  • Educate yourself – Visit the HRI website to learn more about the HWA, including how to identify it and what your treatment options may be.
  • Protect high value trees – For those interested in do-it-yourself management, soil injections may be an option; injection prices have continued to drop while treatment effectiveness has increased.
  • Look for resistant hemlocks – If you have noted previously untreated, healthy hemlocks on your property, you may have found a HWA resistant strain. Learn how to identify and report potentially resistant trees here.
  • Follow the beetles – Researchers have introduced predatory beetles (Laricobius nigrinus) that prey on the HWA as a long term biological control. Visit the HRI beetle page for up-to-date information on past releases and locations.

Put an End to Poaching

nctipThe NC Wildlife Resources Commission has a new poaching enforcement program called TIP – Turn In Poachers. Poaching includes not only the illegal taking of game and fish, but also taking protected plants, trespassing, littering, theft and destruction of property. Depending on the severity of the violation, members who turn in poachers may receive a cash reward ($100-$1,000). You can turn in poachers 4 ways: the internet, a mobile app, text or phone. Learn more about what you can do to stop poaching here.

For our Tennessee landowners, the TN Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) offers a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of wildlife poachers. Individuals with information about poachers or poaching activities can contact the TWRA by calling one of the regional offices from 7:00 am until 12:00 midnight, seven days a week. For more information, visit TWRA’s website

Forestry Cost Share Opportunities

ncforestserviceDid you know that many federal and state cost-sharing programs exist that can help landowners afford the cost of sustainably managing forested properties? If you have property in NC, you may be interested in the following:

 

  • NC Forest Development ProgramThe North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS) will reimburse landowners 40-60% of the cost of reforesting their land, provided they have a Forest Management Plan (FMP) and at least 5 acres needing reforestation (100 acres maximum). Click here for more information and requirements.
  • NC Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program The NCFS will reimburse landowners up to 50% of the cost of precommercial thinning of pine stands in order to prevent outbreaks of the Southern Pine Beetle. A FMP, 5 acre area minimum and the potential for beetle infestation are required. Click here for more information and stipulations.
  • NCFS Community Protection PlanLandowners who live within 10 miles of National Forest land may be eligible for free controlled burning and mechanical fuels reduction of their property performed by the NCFS with funding assistance from the USDA. There is no minimum acreage requirement, and landowners can receive two full rotations. Contact your county forest ranger or visit here to learn more.

PLEASE NOTE: Some conservation easements allow for limited forestry activities pursuant to a Forest Management Plan. Check your conservation easement for specific requirements.