“Urban Forest Pest Readiness”

A single detected invasive pest can, and often does, indicate the presence of a much larger population. The worst of these pests can have costly, irreversible and lasting impacts to the forests they infest. Cities and towns are uniquely vulnerable to pest infestations where local governments and private property owners typically bear the long-term costs of recovery and restoration.

To address this issue, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) joined forces with the Washington Invasive Species Council and was awarded a federal grant to fund development of the new “Urban Forest Pest Readiness Playbook“. The Playbook is a resource that was created for local jurisdictions with imput from municipalities, counties, conservation districts, and other stakeholders.

This new seminar from DNR’s Urban Forestry Program builds on the early success of the Playbook by providing attendees an overview of urban forest pests and the threats they pose, and includes an interactive exercise where participants will work through the Playbook to conduct self-assessments of readiness for their communities.

Emerald Ash Borer is small in size but high populations have devasted ash tree populations in North America. Photo: Eric R. Day, VA Polytechnic Institute and St. Univ., Bugwood.org

Topics discussed will include:

  • How invasive species are introduced to the United States and spread domestically
  • Impacts and costs of invasive species in Washington and the U.S.
  • A review of known invasive pests in Washington and those on the horizon
  • An interactive exercise to assess community pest readiness
  • Discussion of readiness principles and activities to help communities become prepared

The seminar is free to attend. Join us at this no-cost seminar to learn more about managing your community trees and forests for maximum benefit.

As the Playbook is designed for use by cities, towns, and counties, those who represent local jurisdictions stand to get the most from this seminar. Master Gardeners, volunteers, and other private citizens are also welcome to attend.

Registration is limited to 30 participants, although some locations may accommodate more. Details including an agenda and parking information will be provided to registrants in the week prior to each seminar. Please forward this announcement to others in your area who might wish to attend.

The dates, times, and locations of upcoming seminars are as follows. Clicking the hyperlink for the seminar you wish to attend will take you to an online registration page hosted by Eventbrite:

Poulsbo: Wednesday, May 6th from 8:30-12:30 at Poulsbo City Hall

Richland: Thursday, May 21st from 8:30-12:30 at the Richland Community Center at Howard Amon Park

Bellevue: Wednesday, June 3rd from 8:00-12:00 at the Mercer Slough Nature Center

Spokane: Wednesday, August 12th* from 8:30-12:30 at the Woodland Center at Finch Arboretum

Vancouver: Wednesday, August 26th from 8:30-12:30 at the Water Resources Education Center

Mount Vernon: Tuesday, September 22nd from 8:30-12:30 at Hillcrest Lodge in Hillcrest Park

Olympia: Wednesday, October 14th from 8:30-12:30 at the Olympia Fire Department Main Station 

Wenatchee: Thursday, October 22nd from 8:30-12:30, location in Wenatchee tbd

Contact the DNR Urban Forestry Program with any questions at urban_forestry@dnr.wa.gov.