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Forest Health Highlights - 1999

Georgia


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.

Georgia Forest Type DistributionsGeorgia Forest Facts

*  Nearly 2/3 of the state of Georgia is forested (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.  In 1999, beetle populations increased in area around Atlanta and on the Oconee National Forest, but no counties were classified as being in outbreak status.  There were 557 SPB infestations statewide.  The outlook for 2000 is for increasing levels of SPB activity especially in the northern part of Georgia.

*  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.  In 1999, there was a gypsy moth eradication project in Rabun County carried out on the Chattahoochee National Forest.  Over 2,350 acres were treated in conjunction with treatment across the border in North Carolina.  No new infestations were discovered in 1999.

*  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, 1997-2000.

1997

1998

1999

2000

Cooperative Forest Health Program

115,192

115,192

115,192

115,192

   Forest Health Monitoring

87,000

87,000

87,000

87,000

Cooperative suppression/eradication

 

 

   Gypsy moth eradication

0

0

0

0

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests

   Southern pine beetle suppression

98,500

157,000

170,000

90,000

   Gypsy moth eradication

0

0

192,000

44,000

 

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
(912) 751-3497    Asheville, NC  28802
E-mail: tprice@gfc.state.ga.us    (828) 257-4320
http://www.gfc.state.ga.us/Management/pestmgt.cfm   E-mail: Asheville Field Office
    http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/foresthealth