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Beetles to save the hemlocks

Great Mountain Forest (GMF) foresters Jody Bronson, at right in photo, and Russell Russ released lady beetles, Sasajiscymnus tsugae, which are voracious predators of all stages of the hemlock woolly adelgid, an  invasive insect that arrived in the state in 1985, eventually spreading to all 169 towns and resulting in widespread hemlock mortality and decline. GMF started the program on Thursday, May 19, in Falls Village and plans to release 2,500 of the biologically safe predators, which have been successfully used throughout the state and in other states since 1995 in an effort to combat the woolly adelgid, which now has a foothold at GMF.

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