Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Caterpillar-Overruns & Closes Wisconsin State Park

In an unprecedented move that sounds like the basis for a good horror movie, the state Department of Natural Resources is temporarily closing Rocky Arbor State Park near Wisconsin Dells because of an infestation of gypsy moths.

The moths are still in their caterpillar stage and are so numerous at the park that camping there would apparently be a squishy, nightmarish experience.

The park closed Monday and will remain closed at least through June 27, according to DNR officials. During that period, moths in the park will be going through the pupation stage, a time in their life cycle when the invasive caterpillars seek hiding places where they can change to moths.

About 95 campground reservations are affected at the 225-acre park, and state park officials have contacted campers to offer alternative sites at nearby Mirror Lake and Devil's Lake state parks or to provide a refund. Rocky Arbor, established in 1932, is a secluded park known for its 500-million-year-old rock formations.
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