Forest Insect and Disease Newsletter

2013 Forest Pest First Detector Update

Forest Pest First Detector UpdateNow in its sixth year, the Forest Pest First Detector program continues to train dozens of volunteers to respond to reports of exotic forest insects and diseases called in by the public to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). Trained First Detectors are contacted by MDA to connect them to a caller located in their part of the state, and the First Detector responds to help diagnose the issue and report back to MDA.

Six workshops were held in locations around Minnesota, including Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul, Maplelag Resort in Callaway, Little Falls Government Center, Lamberton Research and Outreach Center, Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, and at the Shade Tree Short Course at Bethel University in Arden Hills. Training topics in 2013 included emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, brown marmorated stink bug, thousand cankers disease of walnut, Imprelis damage, Oriental bittersweet, and managing firewood. Continuing education credit is offered for the International Society of Arborists, the Society of American Foresters, and Minnesota Tree Inspectors.

The First Detector team consists of agency partners who organize registration, take turns giving presentations, and proctor the Tree Inspector Certification exam at the various workshop locations. Currently the team includes Mark Abrahamson, Monika Chandler, Kathy Kromroy, and Lucy Hunt (MDA); Brian Aukema (Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota); Val Cervenka and Ken Holman (DNR); and Mary Kay Ferguson, Angie Gupta, Jeff Hahn, Dean Herzfeld, Gary Johnson, Mike Reichenbach, and Gary Wyatt (University of Minnesota Extension). This year the team trained 140 individuals.

Information about the workshops can be found on the MyMinnesotaWoods.