Fighting Hemlock Destroying Bug Will Cost Kentucky Millions

PINEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky forestry officials say it will take a lot of money to combat a tiny bug that's attacking hemlock trees in the eastern part of the state.

The exotic insect, called the hemlock woolly adelgid (uh-DEL-jid), has been detected in only two Kentucky state parks, but the minuscule aphid-like insect has already destroyed hemlock trees throughout Appalachia.

Kentucky forest health environmental scientist Tim McClure says the only thing standing in the way of safeguarding Kentucky hemlocks is the lack of funding.

McClure says the latest site infested trees is Pine Mountain State Park.

Since forestry officials are trying to measure the scope of the adelgid invasion, there's no specific estimate on how much infestations will cost the state or private landowners. Large-scale destruction in neighboring states has cost millions.

McClure says it's not a matter of "if" more Kentucky hemlocks will be under attack, "it's a matter of when."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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