[ FHP Southern Region ]

Forest Health Highlights 1997


The Georgia Forestry Commission provides forest health protection assistance to state and private land managers throughout the State. This program is funded cooperatively by the State and the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection unit.

GA Forest Type Distribution
Georgia Forest Facts

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Nearly 2/3 of the state of Georgia is forested (more than 26.5 million acres).

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Over 90% of forested acreage in Georgia is privately owned.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)The Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests (751,800 acres) provide wildlife and recreational benefits as well as forest products and jobs for thousands of Georgians.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Southern pine beetle is Georgia's most important forest insect pest. In 1995, a significant outbreak affected a large part of the state. Populations have declined since then, but losses continued in the central Piedmont and areas along the Atlantic coast. There were over 1,415 SPB infestations affecting over 312,000 acres of forested land. The outlook for 1998 is for increasing levels of SPB activity.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)The gypsy moth, a serious pest of hardwood forests, threatens Georgia from the north. Using a statewide network of traps, the Georgia Forestry Commission and USDA Forest Service cooperate to monitor for any accidental introductions of the gypsy moth. As a result of this effort, two isolated gypsy moth infestations (White County-1992; Fannin County-1995) have been detected and successfully eradicated.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Since 1991, the Georgia Forestry Commission in cooperation with USDA Forest Service Research and Forest Health Protection has participated in the Forest Health Monitoring Program. This program is designed to annually collect, analyze, interpret and report on the conditions of the forests in Georgia. This is accomplished through a network of over 200 detection plots.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Diseases also threaten Georgia's forests. Two of the most important are fusiform rust and annosum root disease of pines. Fusiform rust has infected 4.6 million acres of pine stands.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Dogwood anthracnose is a disease that occurs in the forest environment at higher elevations and in cool moist areas. This disease was initially found in Georgia in 1987. It is now known to be present and causing significant mortality to the native dogwoods in 38 counties, primarily in the northern part of the state.


The Georgia Forestry Commission and
USDA Forest Service

In spite of the relatively good health of Georgia's forests, a variety of insects and diseases (both native and introduced), and human-caused impacts such as air pollution, continue to threaten the State's resources. To deal with this constantly changing mix of challenges, the Forestry Commission and the Forest Health Protection unit of the USDA Forest Service cooperate to prevent, detect, suppress, and manage this multitude of threats. The partnership between the two agencies has worked for three decades to maintain and improve the health of Georgia's forests.

Forest Health Protection contributions (dollars) to Georgia Forestry Commission Cooperative Forest Health program, cooperative pest suppression/eradication projects, and Chattahoochee/Oconee National Forests pest suppression, 1995-98.





Cooperative Forest Health Program





Forest Health Monitoring





Cooperative suppression/eradication
gypsy moth eradication





Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests
southern pine beetle suppression






For additional information, contact:

Georgia Forestry Commission
USDA Forest Service
P.O. Box 819
Forest Health Protection
Macon, GA 31202-0819
P.O. Box 2680
(912) 751-3497
Asheville, NC 28802
(828) 257-4320