February 1, 2011
MADISON - The public will have an opportunity to learn more about plans to spray portions of Governor Thompson State Park, Peshtigo River State Forest, and Devil's Lake State Park in 2011 in an effort to reduce gypsy moth populations and prevent the caterpillars from defoliating and potentially killing trees at two upcoming public informational meetings.
Representatives from the Department of Natural Resources will be present to discuss gypsy biology, control methods, and proposed spray plans. The spraying will be coordinated through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Gypsy Moth Suppression Program.
The proposed treatment areas include: 206 acres at Boat Landing 13 in Gov. Thompson State Park; 34 acres at Boat Landing 3 and 34 acres at the Stephenson Town Park on Boat Landing 3 Road (on DNR-owned land) in the Peshtigo River State Forest; and 120 acres in and near the south beach and picnic area and a portion of South Lake Drive at Devil's Lake State Park.
The informational meetings will begin at 10 a.m. at the following locations:
The spraying will take place between mid-May and early June depending on weather conditions, caterpillar development, and geographic location within Wisconsin. A better estimate of actual treatment dates will be available in May and June by calling the gypsy moth information line, 1-800-642-6684, for daily updates.
A small low-flying airplane will apply a bacterial insecticide containing Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki or BtK. The timing of treatment is dependent on weather conditions and can occur early in the morning or anytime during the day when conditions are favorable. Spray block maps are available for viewing at the Wisconsin State Cooperative Gypsy Moth website gypsymoth.wi.gov [exit DNR].
Landowners and residents within the proposed state park treatment areas can request not to have their property sprayed by writing to Craig Anderson PR/6, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - State Parks, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921. Objection requests must be received by February 18, 2011.
The gypsy moth is a serious forest and urban pest that was introduced into the United States from Europe in the 1860s. In the past few years populations in eastern and central Wisconsin have increased to the point that the caterpillars may kill trees by eating all of their leaves during May and June. Aerial spraying will prevent this damage and will avoid other adverse effects such as nuisance caterpillars and skin rashes resulting from direct exposure to caterpillars.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Anderson, DNR Bureau of Parks and Recreation - (608) 264-8957