Citizen Science Opportunity: Protect Our Hemlock Trees

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Elyse at South Valley.
Elyse at South Valley.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is an aphid-like insect, originating from Asia that feeds off of the food storage cells below the needles of an Eastern Hemlock tree and hides itself under white woolly masses for protection. Within only a matter of 4-10 years an individual tree can succumb to an HWA infestation if left unnoticed. This deadly bug has been progressively moving closer to our area as it has spread throughout much of the eastern United States, leaving massive stands of hemlocks dead in their wake. Early detection of this particular pest is crucial as the spread of HWA can be managed.

Surveys:

This winter RTPI and community partners will conduct a series of field surveys to monitor our local forests for the presence of HWA. The public is invited to join these efforts, working alongside researchers, conservationists and professors from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy and Jamestown Community College. As we all know, Western New York winter weather can be rather snowy and cold. Individuals interested in participating in surveys should be prepared for the weather with warm clothing and boots. Snow pants and snow shoes or cross-country skis are highly recommended when snow pack is deep.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid masses at the base of Hemlock needles.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid masses at the base of Hemlock needles.

Questions? Contact Jonathan Townsend, RTPI Conservation Biologist, at jtownsendATrtpi.org or by calling 716-665-2473 ext. 231 or Jeremy Woolson, CWC Lands Manager, at jeremyATchautauquawatershed.org or by calling 716-664-2166.

The following survey efforts will be open for the public to join:

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey: Saturday January 11th, 2020 10:00am

Join us Saturday morning for our first survey of the season! We will be surveying the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s Dobbin’s Woods Preserve located on Bly Hill Road in the town of Ashville. We will meet at 10:00am in the preserve parking lot. Visit http://chautauquawatershed.org/index.php/preserves/our-preserves for directions to the preserve.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey: Friday January 17th , 2020 1:00pm

As a part of the High Allegheny Hemlock Conservation Partnership, led by the U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy, RTPI and JCC adopted South Valley State Forest to survey and contribute information to these agencies as well as the Department of Environmental Conservation. Join us as we survey two sites on the state forest lands. We will meet in the RTPI parking lot promptly at 12:30 to carpool and meet on-site around 1:00pm. For those meeting on-site, please meet near the bridge on Sawmill Run Road approx. 42°02.511’N 079°00.580’W. For more information and directions to South Valley State Forest please visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/68293.html

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey: Saturday January 25th , 2020 10:00am

We will be surveying the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s newly established Goose Creek Valley Greenway Preserve located on Hoag Road in the town of Ashville. We will meet at 10:00am at the entrance of the site located approx. 42°05’04.9″N 79°22’35.6″W. Visit http://chautauquawatershed.org/index.php/preserves/our-preserves for directions to the preserve.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey: Friday January 31st , 2020 1:00pm

In addition to our South Valley State Forest site, we are also surveying the Hatch Run Conservation Demonstration Area in Warren Pennsylvania for the joint U.S. Forest Service and Nature Conservancy project. We will meet in the RTPI parking lot promptly at 12:30 to carpool and meet on-site in the Hatch Run parking lot (located off of Hatch Run Road in Warren PA) around 1:00pm. For more information about Hatch Run please visit: http://www.wcconservation.net/hatch-run-conservation-demonstration-area/

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey: Saturday February 8th , 2020 1:00pm

We will be surveying the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s Elm Flats First Preserve located on Lawson Road in the town of Chautauqua. We will meet in front of the preserve to give instruction and then hike to the hemlock stand. Please visit http://chautauquawatershed.org/index.php/preserves/our-preserves for directions.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey: Friday February 14th , 2020 1:00pm

Join us as we explore our backyard and survey the Jamestown Community College and Roger Tory Peterson Institute’s preserves. We will meet in the RTPI parking lot at 1pm to provide instruction and work our way through the preserves.