Friday, January 30, 2009

New York State Park Visitors Checked in Fight Against Pest

ALBANY NY - The New York state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is pulling campground reservations made during the last four years by residents near Worcester, Mass., to learn which campgrounds were visited by people who unknowingly could have brought in firewood infested with Asian longhorn beetles.

"We expect to start a survey of our campgrounds in February to look for signs of the beetle," said Pam Otis, a parks analyst who spoke Thursday at the New York Invasive Species Council.

In New York, temporary emergency rules that ban the movement of untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source have been in place since June 2008. The state is moving to make such rules permanent.

According to the department's records, Worcester residents visited 23 of the state's 67 campgrounds.

Worcester is fighting a massive beetle infestation since the insects were first discovered in August. A 64-square mile area has been quarantined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and officials this month started cutting down thousands of infested trees.
FUll Story...
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