In the last decade there has been a drastic change in the forest communities of the southern Appalachians. Hemlock woolly adelgid, a small aphid-like insect from East-Asia, has decimated hemlocks in eastern North America. First introduced in a private garden near Richmond, Virginia, the adelgid has spread both north and south – from Georgia to New England.The adelgid attaches to the base of the hemlock needles, where it feeds on the sugars that are being transported from the needles to the tree. Infested trees can be identified by the white woolly mass on the underside of the branch. Over time the adelgid starves out the hemlock, leading to defoliation and eventually death.Scientists have yet to find resistant hemlocks in the east, leaving active treatment as the only option to save these iconic trees. Maintaining hemlock forests is one of the main goals of the Grandfather Restoration Project, an 8-year collaborative project to restore 40,000 acres of forest on the Grandfather Ranger District as part of the national Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. Two species of hemlocks grow on the Grandfather District. The more common eastern hemlock grows in streamside forests. The rare Carolina hemlock grows on rocky outcrops. Both species are susceptible to the hemlock woolly adelgid.The most common way to treat hemlocks for the adelgid is using an insecticide treatment. The Forest Service’s primary chemical of choice is called Imidacloprid. Imidacloprid is mixed with water and injected into the soil around the root system of a hemlock. The chemical moves into the foliage, killing the adelgids as they feed but leaving the foliage unharmed. This both maintains old hemlocks and supports regeneration of new hemlocks near the treated trees.The other way to treat the adelgid is using a natural predator. Laracobius negrinus, a small beetle from the Pacific Northwest, is a natural predator of the hemlock woolly adelgid. Scientists at the Southern Research Station are studying how these beetles respond to the colder winters in our area, and how we can best use them.Through the Grandfather Restoration Project, the Forest Service has treated thousands of hemlocks and partnered with leading researchers to release beetles at about a dozen locations on the Grandfather Ranger District. Although we cannot save every hemlocks, we can help preserve the species to ensure this iconic tree remains a component of the forest into the future.
State Rep. Jeff Noble welcomed the news this week that a state grant will assist an automotive glass supplier’s plan for a new manufacturing operation in Plymouth.The Fuyao Automotive North America Inc. project is expected to create 533 jobs with an investment of $66.3 million, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.The Michigan Strategic Fund this week approved a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant for the project. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Ohio, according to the MEDC.“We’re excited about jobs coming to Plymouth,” Noble said. “It will improve the quality of life for people in our community.”Noble represents a district including the cities and townships of Northville and Plymouth, and a portion of Canton.Fuyao Automotive North America Inc. is a subsidiary of Fuyao Group, a global leader in automotive glass manufacturing. 10Feb Rep. Noble welcomes jobs provided by Fuyao investment Categories: News,Noble News
State Reps. Beth Griffin and Jon Hoadley today introduced a bipartisan legislative plan that will address suicide at the local level while aiming to prevent such tragedies in the future.A proposal from Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) creates the Suicide Fatality Review Act, allowing Michigan counties to establish a review task force. The wide-ranging, appointed panels will include medical examiners, members of local law enforcement, mental health experts, those who have been directly impacted by suicide and other parties.There were 1,364 reported suicide deaths in Michigan in 2018, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It was the second-leading cause of death in the state for individuals aged 15-34. On average, one person died of suicide in Michigan every seven hours.“This legislation is another tool in the toolbox to reduce suicide,” Hoadley said. “By allowing local health professionals, public safety officers and experts related to suicide to convene quickly after a suicide, local experts may be able to spot trends and patterns – getting ahead of future tragedy.”Griffin’s bill exempts the local panels from Open Meetings Act laws.“Due to the sensitive information being discussed in these meetings, it’s appropriate to keep them private,” said Griffin (R-Mattawan). “There will likely be conversations had with individuals who have lost loved ones and they will be sharing those emotions or experiences with experts who are tasked with curbing this epidemic in our state. That work must be done confidentially to ensure positive strides are made and people in our communities can get the help they need.This is something that touches many people – whether it be our friends, family members, co-workers or neighbors. It’s imperative we work to provide assistance locally and build a better plan of attack.”House Bills 4414-15 have been referred to the House Health Policy Committee for consideration. 21Mar Reps. Griffin, Hoadley introduce plan to help local communities combat suicide Categories: Griffin News,News