The emerald ash borer, an exotic beetle fatal to ash trees, is chewing its way through North Carolina’s forests.
MountainTrue and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy have partnered to ensure that the majestic ash doesn’t go the way of the dodo.
Thanks to a NC License Plate Grant from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, MountainTrue was able to inventory over ten miles of the Appalachian Trail, which resulted in over two hundred trees along nearly five miles of the world’s most famous hiking trail being treated with chemicals that ward off the emerald ash borer.
“This is just the beginning of a long process” said Josh Kelly of MountainTrue. “Our goal is to save over 1000 trees to be the seed sources for the restoration of ash after the emerald ash borer moves through the Blue Ridge. It will take at least five years and lots of effort and money to save those thousand trees.”
“Maintaining the Appalachian Trail is huge task that relies on the efforts of thousands of people annually, mostly volunteers. Portions of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania and Virginia have already been devastated by emerald ash borer, and the removing down trees and keeping the trail open has gone up because of it. What we are doing in NC will not only benefit the environment and save some trees for future generations, it will reduce maintenance costs for the Appalachian Trail.”