Public invited to discuss Forest Service project aimed at addressing gypsy moth damage

Contact(s): Dan McKeague (540) 552-4641

(8/14/2018) Blacksburg, VA – The USDA Forest Service is hosting two public meetings to discuss forest health concerns and potential treatment options for damage from the invasive gypsy moth in Bland, Giles, Pulaski, and Wythe Counties, Virginia.

The meetings are open to the public and will be held on: 

• Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 1:00 – 4:00 PM at the Eastern Divide Ranger District Office at 110 Southpark Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060.  

• Wednesday August 22, 2018, 4:30 – 7:00 PM at the Wytheville Community College at 1000 East Main Street, Wytheville, VA 24382. 

Each meeting will include a presentation providing information about where gypsy moth impacts have been identified, describe potential treatment options and allow time for discussion. Treatment options that we will discuss include removing dead and dying trees in areas that have been repeatedly defoliated by gypsy moth. We will also discuss vegetation management treatments, such as thinning and tree harvest, aimed at improving forest health in areas susceptible to gypsy moth infestation. 

“I hope these meetings will be an opportunity to gather feedback from anyone interested in participating in the development of this proposal,” states District Ranger Dan McKeague. 

The gypsy moth is one of the most destructive pests threatening the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Gypsy moth caterpillars feed on tree leaves, damaging and even killing trees. Trees that are repeatedly defoliated by gypsy moths have a high risk of dying.  Because oak leaves are a favorite food of gypsy moth caterpillars, oak forests are particularly susceptible to defoliation.  

For more information please contact the Eastern Divide Ranger District at (540) 552-4641.