Wenatchee River Institute Red Barn event, Forest Health – what’s eating the trees
What does the term forest health really mean? Are insect damage and tree death part of a healthy forest? Find answers to these questions and learn about the amazing ways insects and fungi interact with host trees, as well as forest tree responses and adaptations, in Wenatchee River Institute’s (WRI) Red Barn, 347 Division St., on Thu. Mar. 12, 7-8:30PM.
Connie Mehmel, USDA Forest Service Entomologist and Silviculturist (foresters specially trained to care for and cultivate forest trees) will talk about how wildfires and insects can benefit forests and that overstocking and changes in species composition are primary factors contributing to poor forest health in eastern WA. During the presentation, Mehmel will also explain why increased thinning and managed fire are the most useful tools for improving overall forest health.
“Large portions of our eastern Washington forests are currently considered in an unhealthy state. An analysis by the Nature Conservancy and the USDA Forest Service identified 2.7 million acres of forest in Central and Eastern Washington that require either natural disturbance or active management to change forest structures to make them more resilient to damaging insects, pathogens and wildfire,” said Mehmel.
A simple love of forests and wildlands sparked Mehmel’s interest in natural resources, and she enthusiastically pursued her career from there. “The most interesting project I worked on was using pheromones to affect the behavior of bark beetles. I loved the opportunity to work with chemical entomologists,” reminisced Mehmel.
This Red Barn event is in partnership with the Wenatchee Valley Chapter of the WA Native Plant Society. Doors open at 6:30PM for community social, with beer and wine available for purchase. While this is a free event, donations are gratefully accepted to benefit WRI youth and adult programs. For more information, contact Rebecca Ryan at (509)548-0181 x2 or email@example.com
Event link: https://wenatcheeriverinstitute.org/event-calendar.html/event/2020/03/12/red-barn-event-forest-health-what-s-eating-the-trees/277308