Just got back from a two week tour throughout the Rocky Mountains north west of Denver. Catching up on reading here I read the Hemlock Wooley Adelgid thread with a sad heart. Here's a horribly similar but true story about what is going on out there in the rockies: About six or seven years ago a variation of what we here call the Southern Pine Beetle and they call the Rocky Mountain Pine Beetle showed up. Nothing has been successfully done to stop it by the government. Last year it captured five times the number of trees as previously killed. Currently the estimate is 648,000 acres already gone and it is expected to continue to spread exponentially similar to last year....in all directions. If we saw one continuous mile of dead forest we saw, I know, at least fifty miles of those beautiful mountain trees totally brown...from the valleys to the tops at 13,000". Our grandchildren won't have trees to see in those mountains! And between now and then the naked poles will eventually rot and fall, the top soil will wash into the streams, the streams will fill up and all the while the wild animals and the birds and the fish will slowly die from starvation and pollution. And some of the animals will move down into the towns and cities creating more problems. Why have we not seen this catastrophe in the news? Doesn't that park belong to all of us, too?
Makes one wonder about that 'cousin' pine beetle just coming into our beloved GSMNP area, huh? And similar thoughts about the Wooly Adelgid, huh?
I've got several infested hemlocks on my place here on Cove Mountain. Looked into doing something about it. Will cost about $250/$300 per tree to get it sprayed and the ground treated with no guarantee that they will be saved and the bug spread stopped.
Didn't we use to have chestnut and elm trees throughout the Smokies? Now they're gone. In light of all the money that the government is spending on so called wars and foreign aid to countries that despise us isn't it about time we change out priorities and try to keep our carbon dioxide ingesting and oxygen emitting life giving gifts from God bug free?