Friday, July 18, 2008

2009 Gypsy Moth Program Application Opens

The County officially announced Tuesday, July 15, 2008 that it has begun taking requests from County residents who want to have their properties sprayed for gypsy moths in 2009. As in 2008, Centre County will be participating in the state program, administering it at the County level. The anticipated homeowner cost-share will be $21/acre, up from $17/acre in 2008, largely due to the increase in the cost of fuel and the Bt pesticide.

County residents may request spraying on their properties until SEPTEMBER 30, 2008. After that date, it will not be possible to sign up for the spray program. As in previous years, the state program is a forested residential program spraying a 500ft area around residences and cabins. It is NOT a program to spray landowners’ forest stands. Those landowners should contact the PA Bureau of Forestry to find out about the Forest Stewardship program or arrange such spraying privately. All privately owned, nonindustrial forest stewardship lands, except those withdrawn from timber production under the stewardship plan, are eligible for spraying, provided they meet the program standards.

The DCNR has many rules on who qualifies for the state spray program. As participants in the state program, we have to follow their rules. Two fundamental rules are that there must be not less than 20 acres of forest in the minimum-size 23 acre spray block (1,000ft x 1,000ft) and that at least 50% of the spray block area must be occupied by tree canopies. Additionally, there must be new egg masses present (at least 250/acre). These are being laid now.

Inclusion in the Spray Program
If you live in a rural area, you must request participation in the spray program in order to be considered for gypsy moth spraying. The situation is somewhat different for residents in 'urban' areas that have denser housing (such as Park Forest in Patton Township or Linnwood in Rush Township). Some urban municipalities may request the County to include their forested urban areas and will cover the homeowner costs. Others will require homeowners to pay cost-shares but in such cases, requests by around 10% of the homeowners in the area will ensure that the whole area will be evaluated for spraying. If you are a forested urban area resident and have a strong desire to be sprayed next year, then please sign up, whether or not your municipality has done that for you.

To sign up, just click on 'Request Spraying in 2009' on the front page of the Centre County Gypsy Moth web site and follow the instructions. If you have several parcels which you would like included in the spray program, you will get a chance to enter them during the sign up process.

1 comment:

Sanford Smith said...

Nice blog Mr. Jackson. It's useful to have all the current news in one place. You are doing an excellent job here in Central PA!