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June 18, 2012

Friends of Great Bear to Hold Ash Tree Tagging Event June 23

VOLNEY - Friends of Great Bear will host a community environmental project to increase public awareness of the threat of the emerald ash borer at Great Bear Recreation Area from 10 am to noon Saturday, June 23. Joe Chairvolotti, forester for the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District, will lead a hike and help people identify and tag ash trees.

The Great Bear Recreation Area is located at County Route 57 and Hawthorn Road in the Town of Volney, approximately 3.5 miles south of Fulton. The 450-acre park is adjacent to the Oswego River and contains more than six miles of marked trails.

"The emerald ash borer beetle is responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees in 15 states in the Midwest and Northeast," said Dick Drosse, Friends of Great Bear coordinator. "Native to Asia, it likely arrived in the United States hidden in wood packaging materials. It is especially dangerous because there is no known treatment for EAB infestations - trees must be felled and the wood disposed of. The ash borer is already in western New York and the Albany area and south."

"This project will help increase awareness of ash trees and the potential threat of the ash borer. Once tagged, the trees will remain marked for several weeks, educating users of Great Bear to the presence of ash trees and threats to their survival," added Drosse.

In addition to Chairvolotti, the Nature Conservancy will present information about invasive species. Pamphlets will be available to help identify and prevent the spread of other invasive plants and insects. There will be special handouts for children.

"All are welcome, whether participating with the tagging or stopping by to obtain information on invasive plants and insects affecting our environment," said Drosse.

The Friends of Great Bear group is a partner in the St. Lawrence-Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (SLELO-PRISM).

Those who would like more information or who would like to help with planning a group for the tagging may contact Drosse at (315) 343-4565 or info@friendsofgreatbear.org.

Visitors are reminded that Great Bear is a rustic hiking area and no restroom facilities are available. For additional information and a map of Great Bear Recreation Area, visit http://friendsofgreatbear.org/index.asp.


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