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Forest Health Highlights - 1998


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

* Nearly 2/3 of the state of Georgia isforested (more than 24.1 million acres).

* Over 90% of forested acreage in Georgia is privately owned.  

 * 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.

 * Southern pine beetle (SPB) 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.  There were 264 SPB infestations statewide in 1998.  The outlook for 1999 is for increasing levels of SPB activity.

 * 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. There will be a gypsy moth eradication project in Rabun County in 1999.  Over 2,350 acres will be treated in conjunction with treatment across the border in North Carolina.

 * 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. 

 * 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.

 * 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, 1996-99.






Cooperative Forest Health Program





   Forest Health Monitoring










Cooperative suppression/eradication





   gypsy moth eradication










Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests





   Southern pine beetle suppression





    Gypsy moth eradication






For additional information, contact:

Georgia Forestry Commission   (or)  USDA Forest Service
P.O. Box 819    Forest Health Protection
Macon, GA  31202-0819    P.O. Box 2680
    Asheville, NC  28802
(912) 751-3497    
e-mail: tprice@gfc.state.ga.us   (828) 257-4320
http://www.gfc.state.ga.us/    e-mail: fh/srs@fs.fed.us

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