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Managing Invasive Species

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak DeathOver the past ten years, oak mortality has occurred at unprecedented levels along the central California coast. Tree mortality is affecting ecosystem functions, increasing fire and safety hazards, reducing property values in developed areas, and causing economic impacts in the forest, horticultural, and agricultural industries. The Forest Service is working closely with USDA-APHIS, California, Oregon, Washington and other states and local governments to coordinate and fund a program to limit the spread of Sudden Oak Death on federal, state and private lands.

Our major emphasis is monitoring forests in the forest environs of nurseries that received infected plants. Public outreach is being used to locate those already planted in backyards. Protocols have been developed to eradicate the pathogen in forests, landscapes, and nursery environments. An aggressive and rapid response is necessary to protect natural resources nationwide.

  • P. ramorum is an invasive, non-native pest that is currently established in 14 California counties and one county in southwest Oregon. Oregon is clear-cutting and burning infested areas.
  • The pathogen has a broad host range, including hardwoods, landscape shrubs, herbaceous plants, ferns and conifers.
  • The pathogen continues to spread in the nursery trade. It was detected in 99 nurseries in 7 states in 2005. This is reduced from 216 nurseries in 2004.
  • Surveys of eastern forests in 2004 and 2005 found no evidence that P. ramorum has spread to the eastern forests. In light of the nursery stock finds, surveys will continue in 2006 and to a lesser degree in 2007.
  • In 2005, emergency funding, federal appropriations and funding from States and private organizations totaled more than $20.8 million for quarantine enforcement, research, monitoring, management and education. Of this, $2.9 million was spent by Forest Service-S&PF.
  • In 2006, S&PF has maintained this level of eradication and suppression activities, and educational outreach efforts.
  • In 2007, all phases of this program will be reduced proportionally.