Kentucky has a thriving parks system.  The state has 52 state parks including 24 recreation state parks, 17 resort parks (more than any other state), and 11 historic state parks.  A 2012 article on www.kentucky.com stated that Kentucky State Parks generate approximately $48 million in annual income which is nationally the third highest revenue of all state parks systems (after California and New York).  Kentucky’s state parks have the most lodge and conference facilities of all state parks systems in the nation.  A 2004 study by the University of Kentucky estimated the economic impact of state parks at $317 million.  It is estimated that over 3 million people visit Kentucky’s state parks each year (www.kentucky.com).  Many of the state parks have campgrounds which are popular destinations for both in-state and out-of-state visitors.  Campgrounds are high-risk areas in terms of the introduction of forest pests and state and national parks are high-risk areas in terms of points of potential establishment of exotic pests; therefore, we will perform a bundled survey focusing on Kentucky state parks to protect Kentucky’s forests and preserve an important source of tourism revenue for the state.

In addition to the tourism aspect of Kentucky’s parks system, Kentucky’s forest and wood industry is extremely important to the state.  In 2012, that industry added $9.9 billion to the economy and employed over 51,000 Kentuckians.  Kentucky is the leading producer of hardwood timber in the south and one of the top three in the United States (KY Forest Economic Impact Report 2012-2013). 

The pests for which we will survey are moth pests of oak trees so establishment of any of the pests could impact the tourism, ecology, and economy within the state greatly.        

Rosy Gypsy Moth

Rosy Gypsy Moth

2013 was the first year of this survey and 22 state parks were included. From 2013-2016, we conducted a survey that consisted of both a trapping component and a visual survey component.  The trapping component of the survey was designed to detect eight moth pests that pose a risk to oak trees since 75% of Kentucky’s forestland, a total over 9.3 million acres, is an oak-hickory forest type (statistics from forestry.ky.gov).   These eight pests are as follows: Summer Fruit Tortrix, Variegated Golden Tortrix, Light Brown Apple Moth, Rosy Moth, Egyptian Cottonworm, Oak Processionary Moth, False Codling Moth, and Green Oak Tortrix.  In 2016, Light Brown Apple Moth was not included in the survey.  In 2017, Summer Fruit Tortrix was not included in the survey and the visual survey component was removed. 

The visual survey component from 2013-2016 involved looking for signs and symptoms of two pests of state concern, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid  and Asian Longhorned Beetle. Hemlock trees are common in forests in the eastern one-third of Kentucky and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid was discovered first discovered in Kentucky in 2006.  Asian Longhorned Beetle has been found in southeastern Ohio relatively near the Kentucky border. 

During the survey, surveyors looked for trees showing signs of Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) infestation.  Surveyors did not see any trees that appeared to be infested with this pest, but did not county numbers of negative trees since they could not thoroughly examine the entire tree to say with certainty that it was free of ALB.

Green Oak Tortrix

Green Oak Tortrix

2013

  • Number of Parks Surveyed:  22

  • Counties Surveyed:  Barren, Carroll, Carter, Edmonson, Floyd, Grayson, Greenup, Jefferson, Johnson, Laurel, Lawrence, Madison, Nelson, Pendleton, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Spencer, Taylor, Washington, Whitley

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

  • Number of Trees positive for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid:  159

  • Counties Positive for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: Powell (21 trees), Magoffin (20 positive and new county record), Martin (118 positive and new county record)

2014

  • Number of Parks Surveyed:  20

  • Counties Surveyed:  Bell, Boyle, Carroll, Carter, Floyd, Grayson, Greenup, Jefferson, Johnson, Laurel, Lawrence, Madison, McCreary, Nelson, Pulaski, Russell, Spencer, Washington

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

  • Number of Trees positive for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid:  0

  • Counties Surveyed for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: Carter (730 trees), Floyd (2 trees), Greenup (120 trees), Lawrence (14 trees)

2015

  • Number of Parks Surveyed:  20

  • Counties Surveyed:  Bell, Boone, Carroll, Carter, Floyd, Greenup, Hopkins, Johnson, Laurel, Lawrence, McCreary, Nelson, Pendleton, Pulaski, Robertson, Spencer, Trigg, Washington

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

  • Number of Trees positive for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid:  0

  • Counties Surveyed for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: Bell (17 trees), Laurel (29 trees), McCreary (25 trees)

2016

  • Number of Parks Surveyed:  20

  • Counties Surveyed:  Boone, Carroll, Carter, Daviess, Edmonson, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Laurel, Lawrence, Madison, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Pendleton, Pulaski, Robertson, Washington, Whitley

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

2017

  • Number of Parks Surveyed:  20

  • Counties Surveyed:  Boone, Carroll, Carter, Edmonson, Floyd, Greenup, Henderson, Johnson, Laurel, Lawrence, Madison, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Pendleton, Pulaski, Robertson, Washington, Whitley

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  TBD

 Oak Processionary Moth

Oak Processionary Moth

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Forest Pests in State Parks 2013

Forest Pests in State Parks 2014

Forest Pests in State Parks 2015