Survey for Forest Pests
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. In addition, approximately one million acres of land belong to national parks in Kentucky (statistics from www.kentuckytourism.com). In 2011, three national parks in Kentucky had over 1.2 million visitors (www.nps.gov). Many of these 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 parks to protect Kentucky’s forests and preserve an important source of tourism revenue for the state.
The survey will take place in 20 parks throughout the state of Kentucky. We will design a survey that consists of several traps targeting invasive moth and beetle pests. These pests pose a risk to oak trees and 75% of Kentucky’s forestland, a total over 9.3 million acres, is an oak-hickory forest type (statistics from forestry.ky.gov). These pests are as follows: Rosy Moth, Oak Processionary Moth, False Codling Moth, Oak Ambrosia Beetle, and Lymantria dispar asiatica. We will also conduct visual surveys for Spotted Lanternfly and Asian Longhorned Beetle. The establishment of any of these insects would have large negative impacts on the state’s forestland. We will collect survey data detailing the presence/absence of these pests in Kentucky’s parks. As with most other exotics, early detection leads to easier and less costly eradication.