Insect Infestation Prompts State Park Tree Harvest
Officials at General Butler State Resort Park are allowing a limited harvest of ash trees.
The action is being taken because of the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that wreaks havoc on forestation.
Parks spokesman Gil Lawson says the decision to chop and remove some of the park’s vulnerable tree population was made in the hopes of heading off further devastation.
"We believe we're being very responsible and good stewards of the forest because we'll receive about $50,000 from this operation. It will all go back into General Butler and it will be used to buy new trees, and to treat some ash trees with chemicals each year so we can preserve them."
Lawson says officials considered doing nothing but then they would have had a large number of dead trees on their hands which would have posed a safety risk.
The parks department is working with the state division of forestry on the harvest. It’s expected to be limited to the winter months when the park has fewer visitors.