As we head into summer here in the North Carolina mountains and are wrapping up hemlock treatments for the season, the HRI would like to take opportunity to extend a giant THANK YOU to all of our partners, volunteers, supporters and friends who have made this our most successful hemlock treatment season ever!
Since the beginning of 2017, the HRI, with the indispensable help of our partners and volunteers, has chemically treated nearly 9,000 trees on non-federal, public lands in North Carolina! Yes, nearly 9,000! That breaks down to approximately 2,300 seedlings and 6,300 larger trees, totaling more than 60,000 inches of trunk diameter over more than 300 acres.
These numbers are truly astounding and we certainly couldn’t do it alone. We specifically want to thank:
- The NC Forest Service: Forest Health Branch
- Everyone involved with the BRIDGE Program
- The NC Wildlife Resources Commission
- All of the land managers we have worked with: State Forest and State Park Rangers and staff
- The North Carolina Chapter of the Nature Conservancy
- American Whitewater
- The USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection, NCDA&CS, and Commissioner Troxler for their ongoing support
- Our incredibly hardworking volunteers and crew members
- All those new and returning friends whose company we’ve had the pleasure of sharing under the shade of the hemlocks this spring.
In addition to treating thousands of trees in 2017, the HRI has:
- delivered 7 educational presentations to more than 100 audience members
- conducted 10 predator beetle monitoring visits, including holding a training and workday in collaboration with the Montreat Land Care Committee, to engage Montreat College Students with ongoing beetle monitoring work in their community
- co-hosted 2 volunteer workdays with the Forest Restoration Alliance, giving volunteers an opportunity to participate in future forest restoration research
- tabled at 3 events celebrating the natural world (including the Upper French Broad River Fest on June 24th)
- in collaboration with Transylvania County Cooperative Extension, Transylvania County Natural Resource Council, and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, we have launched a hemlock treatment cost-share pilot program, providing financial assistance to private land owners wishing to treat their trees; a program which shows great promise for replication in other North Carolina counties in the coming months and years.
In addition to the support of the partners listed above, many of the aforementioned activities would not have occurred without the support of the Blue Ridge RC&D, Buncombe County Service Foundation, Transylvania County, and private donors.
We are incredibly proud of our accomplishments so far this year, and it is only June! Not only have we been working hard, but we’ve had fun doing it and we feel so honored to share these successes with everyone who has been instrumental in making them possible.
From the bottom of our hearts- THANK YOU!