Understanding public knowledge and attitudes toward controlling hemlock woolly adelgid on public forestsAuthor(s): N.C. Poudyal; J. M. Bowker; R. L. Moore
Source: Journal of Forestry
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
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Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) (Adelges tsugae), an exotic forest pest, has infested millions of acres of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forest from Georgia to Maine. Hemlock mortality has been linked to a loss in esthetics, declines in trout habitat, and an increase in safety hazards in public forests. Available options to control HWA vary in terms of cost and environmental impact. As infestations occur often on public lands, which are popular recreation destinations, understanding public knowledge of and attitudes toward HWA control options will be important to any successful control program. Household survey results indicate public support for combating HWA, but public awareness of control options and of HWA in general is low. Survey respondents revealed concerns related to increased risk of wildfire, safety, and reduced quality of recreation but were less concerned with property value reduction or loss of trees on private land. Spraying oil and soap on branches and injecting insecticides into tree trunks were preferred to chemical soil treatments or releasing nonnative predatory beetles. Both site- and user group-specific differences in acceptability were observed for alternative control options, suggesting a need for careful selection of control options, depending on site characteristics and user populations.
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CitationPoudyal, N.C.; Bowker, J. M.; Moore, R. L. 2016. Understanding public knowledge and attitudes toward controlling hemlock woolly adelgid on public forests. Journal of Forestry 114:619-628. 10 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/jof.15-015
Keywordsbiological control, forest pest, hemlock, insecticide, invasive species, public opinion
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