The emerald ash borer is already rampant in the park and there are early signs of beech bark disease; there are no reports yet of oak wilt.
On a more positive note, there may be an upside to the numbing cold that has gripped the region. Scientists at the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in St. Paul, Minn., say up to 80 percent of the ash borer population there could be eliminated by the deep cold. That’s reminiscent of the cold snap that greatly reduced a tent caterpillar infestation in northern Michigan in the 1990s.
To read and comment on the the Hazard Tree Management Plan, go to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=45319.