State partners with U.S. government on forest management

By YUEHAN LIU
Capital News Service
LANSING– Michigan has signed an agreement with the U.S Forest Service to boost collaborative management of Michigan’s forest lands. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said the Good Neighbor Authority master agreement is “a broad pact allowing the state to supplement the work being done by the Forest Service staff on the national forests.”
The agreement would involve the three national forests in Michigan: Hiawatha, Ottawa and Huron-Manistee. “This agreement would help both the Forest Service and the state,” said Jane Cliff, a public affairs specialist at the Forest Service. Cliff said that the agreement would help the Forest Service because natural emergencies have used more of its budget lately, leaving less money for forest protection. Cliff said there are a lot of emergency situations, especially as winter approaches.

Oak wilt is killing Michigan oak trees

By: Lia Kananipuamaeole Kamana
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

Michigan oak trees don’t have to worry just about getting cleared out for the construction of neighborhoods, homes, businesses and schools anymore. These days an oak tree’s biggest concern is a fungus known as oak wilt that constricts the water-conducting vessels. According to Steve Martinko of Michigan Organic Tree Care, the first kind of infection occurs in the leaves and spreads through the branches, trunks and roots.  

“The roots take the pathogen and disperse the infection like cancer,” said Martinko. Once oak wilt infects a tree, there is no cure and the best thing to do is start protecting nearby trees from getting infected.