Report raises concerns about well-being of forests

Capital News Service
LANSING – The recently released Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 2015 forest health report has some forestry experts worried about the state’s future ecological well-being. “The most concerning thing to me is how many of the diseases and insects are spreading,” said Tara Bal, a forestry expert and research assistant professor at Michigan Technological University’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Pests such as the invasive hemlock wooly adelgid bug and the spruce budworm, combined with the warming climate, threaten several tree and animal species, some experts warn. Among the most worrisome are hemlock wooly adelgid bug infestations, which have attacked hemlocks in five additional counties in the past five years, according to the department’s report. “There are new counties added every year to the report,” Bal said.