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    Fort Indiantown Gap forestry holds education event for employees

    Fort Indiantown Gap forestry holds education event for employees

    Photo By Angela King-Sweigart | John Grab, a clerk with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Col. Angela King-Sweigart 

    Fort Indiantown Gap

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa-Employees here attended a lunchtime seminar Sept. 13 hosted by the forestry office.

    Topics included tree identification as well as identification and control measures for common forest and tree pests including the spotted lanternfly, emerald ash borer and hemlock wooly adelgid.

    “The pests in particular are a danger to a healthy forest, which is our concern,” said Tim Haydt, forest program manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Haydt’s degree is in forestry and he has been working for the installation for 16 years.

    Much of Fort Indiantown Gap’s training areas are forested. Unhealthy forests on the installation could mean negative impacts to military training.

    “We wanted to educate our employees here on these pests. So far we’ve found a few spotted laternfly individuals on Fort Indiantown Gap, but no established populations. In the event someone does find a spotted lanternfly anywhere on post, we want to know," said Haydt.

    The spotted lanternfly is an invasive species with the potential to negatively impact the grapes, hops, fruit tree, and hardwood lumber industries, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The bugs feed on the sap of the plants and trees which can eventually kill them if the infestation is severe enough. The spotted lanternfly is attracted to an invasive species of tree called “tree-of-heaven” and it is believed that feeding on this tree is essential to the bug’s life cycle.

    The forestry department has established trap trees on post set up in multiple locations to monitor and test for the bug. These trap trees can also be treated with insecticide to kill the bug once it is in that particular location.

    Haydt also discussed other pests that have impacted the installation the emerald ash borer and the wooly adelgid.

    "We have had an infestation of the emerald ash borer that came through in the last 4 years which decimated our ash tree population. Additionally we have had ongoing issues with hemlock wooly adelgid since the early 2000’s and have lost about 100 acres of hemlock forest since that time,” he said.

    Fort Indiantown Gap is run by members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is the busiest Army National Guard training site in the country. Both sets of employees have been offered training outside of this event on the spotted lantern fly.



    Date Taken: 09.26.2018
    Date Posted: 09.26.2018 16:10
    Story ID: 294519

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