Lansing, MI -(AmmoLand.com)- Michigan’s approximately 20 million acres of forest land play a key role in the state’s recreation, forest products and other important industries, and the health of those forests is essential to sustaining this vital resource for many generations.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released its 2015 Forest Health Highlights report, an overview of Michigan’s forests, the insects and diseases that have threatened them over the past year, and details about what is being done to improve the state’s urban and rural forests.
The report breaks down forest health threats by examining insects and diseases, forest decline and ongoing forest health research. Accompanying photos and maps illustrate the pests and show the effects they have had on Michigan’s forest system.
Among the highlights in the report are the DNR’s efforts to control oak wilt, a serious disease that threatens Michigan’s extensive red oak resource. In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, tens of thousands of feet of root graft barriers have been created on state forest land. These barriers prevent oak wilt from moving to healthy oak trees.
Hemlock woolly adelgid, an exotic invasive insect that kills hemlock trees, was found in the west-central Lower Peninsula in 2015. Status of these infestations is discussed, along with cooperative efforts by the DNR, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan State University and others to address this threat.
“The key to preventing and slowing the spread of exotic invasive organisms in Michigan’s forests is public awareness,” said Bob Heyd, DNR forest health specialist. “The Forest Health Highlights report provides timely information about the condition of our forests and what’s being done to protect them.”
To learn more about the health of the state forest system, check out the 2015 Forest Health Highlights report by visiting www.michigan.gov/foresthealth.
About the Michigan Department of Natural Resources:
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.
For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.