Gypsy moth spraying begun in Garrett

Sarah Moses, Cumberland Times News

Gypsy moth spraying has begun in Garrett County, but wet weather may delay its completion.

"Some spraying went on by both the (state) Department of Agriculture and the private contractors through our cost-share program," Willie Lantz, Maryland Cooperative Extension agriculture and natural resources educator, told the county commissioners at their Tuesday meeting. "Originally, they thought they would be done by this week, but it might be pushed back into next week."

He said the delay might benefit spraying, as many of the oak leaves are not fully out yet and oak is the tree of choice for the seasonal pest. The pesticides must be sprayed on leaves, where it is picked up by the caterpillars, and he said the delay might give the oak leaves time to grow.

The total spraying will cover more than 42,000 acres with both the cost-share program and the state spraying.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is investing about $1 million in the suppression efforts in Garrett County alone.

The Cooperative Extension, Lantz said, is also looking for signs of the moth's natural enemy, the fungus Entomophaga maimaiga. Because it has been a wetter spring than in previous years, there is a better chance the fungus will help reduce the gypsy moth population.

He said they will be checking specifically in areas not sprayed with the BT or dimilin to see if they find the caterpillars killed by the fungus. He said it kills them in a very specific way, but its effect is easier to recognize in areas not sprayed.

Commissioner Fred Holliday asked about another pest that could be making its way to the area, the emerald ash borer. He questioned if it is something to worry about in the future.

This green beetle will eat ash tree foliage, but cause little damage. The larvae feed on the inner bark of the ash trees, which affects the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients.

It first appeared in the U.S. in Michigan in 2002 and moved southward to Maryland by 2006. Lantz said that triangular purple boxes throughout the county are to help analyze the possible infestation in the area. These boxes, he explained, have the scent of a distressed ash tree and would attract the insects and give a better count of whether they are in the area and how severe an infestation it might be.

"Some say that they are already here, but I don't know if that's true," Lantz said. He said they come in, most often, on firewood being brought in from other states. Lantz added that bringing in the wood from other states is illegal, though that is not very well-known or heavily enforced.

Congress enacts most of farm bill over Bush veto

WASHINGTON— Congress has enacted a massive election-year farm bill over President Bush's veto.

More than 90% of the bill will become law after the Senate voted 82-13 to override Bush's veto Thursday. The president claimed it was too expensive and too generous with subsidies for farmers.

But the version that Bush vetoed was missing 34 pages on international food aid and trade. That will require Congress to send another bill to Bush.

The $290 billion bill increases food stamps by $1 billion a year. It also increases subsidies for some crops and for the first time subsidizes growers of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Roadcheck 2008

From June 3 to June 5, 2008, about 10,000 Certified Inspectors from FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) will conduct thousands of truck and bus inspections in North America during Roadcheck 2008. The inspectors will follow a comprehensive 37-step procedure that may result in trucks and/or drivers being placed out-of-service.

According to the CVSA, last year’s Roadcheck resulted in 6.2% of drivers (nearly 66% due to hours-of-service violations) and 21.5% of vehicles inspected being placed out-of-service, mostly (54%) due to brake defects. For more information about last year’s inspections, please visit

An out-of-service driver or vehicle means lost time and revenue. Be sure your vehicles are in compliance!

President Vetos Farm Bill


I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 2419, the "Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008."

For a year and a half, I have consistently asked that the Congress pass a good farm bill that I can sign. Regrettably, the Congress has failed to do so. At a time of high food prices and record farm income, this bill lacks program reform and fiscal discipline. It continues subsidies for the wealthy and increases farm bill spending by more than $20 billion, while using budget gimmicks to hide much of the increase. It is inconsistent with our objectives in international trade negotiations, which include securing greater market access for American farmers and ranchers. It would needlessly expand the size and scope of government. Americans sent us to Washington to achieve results and be good stewards of their hard-earned taxpayer dollars. This bill violates that fundamental commitment.

In January 2007, my Administration put forward a fiscally responsible farm bill proposal that would improve the safety net for farmers and move current programs toward more market-oriented policies. The bill before me today fails to achieve these important goals.

At a time when net farm income is projected to increase by more than $28 billion in 1 year, the American taxpayer should not be forced to subsidize that group of farmers who have adjusted gross incomes of up to $1.5 million. When commodity prices are at record highs, it is irresponsible to increase government subsidy rates for 15 crops, subsidize additional crops, and provide payments that further distort markets. Instead of better targeting farm programs, this bill eliminates the existing payment limit on marketing loan subsidies.

Now is also not the time to create a new uncapped revenue guarantee that could cost billions of dollars more than advertised. This is on top of a farm bill that is anticipated to cost more than $600 billion over 10 years. In addition, this bill would force many businesses to prepay their taxes in order to finance the additional spending.

This legislation is also filled with earmarks and other ill-considered provisions. Most notably, H.R. 2419 provides: $175 million to address water issues for desert lakes; $250 million for a 400,000-acre land purchase from a private owner; funding and authority for the noncompetitive sale of National Forest land to a ski resort; and $382 million earmarked for a specific watershed. These earmarks, and the expansion of Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements, have no place in the farm bill. Rural and urban Americans alike are frustrated with excessive government spending and the funneling of taxpayer funds for pet projects. This bill will only add to that frustration.

The bill also contains a wide range of other objectionable provisions, including one that restricts our ability to redirect food aid dollars for emergency use at a time of great need globally. The bill does not include the requested authority to buy food in the developing world to save lives. Additionally, provisions in the bill raise serious constitutional concerns. For all the reasons outlined above, I must veto H.R. 2419, and I urge the Congress to extend current law for a year or more.

I veto this bill fully aware that it is rare for a stand-alone farm bill not to receive the President's signature, but my action today is not without precedent. In 1956, President Eisenhower stood firmly on principle, citing high crop subsidies and too much government control of farm programs among the reasons for his veto. President Eisenhower wrote in his veto message, "Bad as some provisions of this bill are, I would have signed it if in total it could be interpreted as sound and good for farmers and the nation." For similar reasons, I am vetoing the bill before me today.



May 21, 2008.

Nominations sought for 2008 MFA Awards Program

Through its awards program, the Maryland Forests Association seeks to recognize significant achievement during 2007-2008 in seven major categories. Help us recognize pro-forestry efforts!

To be eligible for one of these awards, or to make a nomination, the person or organization need not be a member of the Maryland Forests Association
. A person or organization can nominate themselves or their organization or it may be done by an outside party. The nominee must either reside in or conduct business in Maryland.

Send a brief note or e-mail description of why you think the nominee should be given the award in the appropriate category. Along with the description send the name of two individuals who will support the nomination. Send your nominations to:

Awards Committee
Maryland Forests Association
P.O. Box 599
Grantsville, MD 21536
Nominations may also be e-mailed to

Deadline is September 14, 2008


The nominee must own or manage a logging operation. The operation should be an example of safety and show the quality of results commensurate with excellent forestry practices (Special deadline of July 1 applies).

This award will recognize the person or organization with significant accomplishments in promoting public education and acceptance of forest management and the forest products industry. The accomplishments should be in the form of campaigns, events, projects or activities aimed at audiences outside the forest products industry.

This category is designed to recognize a person who has made exemplary contributions to the forest community from a technical, managerial or public relations point of view. The person's accomplishments need not be limited to those three broad areas.

The nominee should be a person who is in a position to give guidance and direction regarding forestry related issues through efficient operation of his/her own endeavor and through a role in forestry associations, task forces, committees, etc.

The contributions to education can be technical, vocational, professional or aimed at the public-at-large. The nominee need not be an educator as long as the end result of his/her efforts are increased knowledge and understanding of forests, forestry, and the forest products industry.

The nominee may be either a forest landowner or someone responsible for a resource management program. The program can be on private or industrial land.

This category is designed to recognize a person who has made exemplary contributions of his/her time and talents to the Maryland Forests Association and the advancement of MFA's mission.

Further details about the award and archive of past recipients is online at

Ethanol and Other Biofuels: A Global Warming Solution Worse Than the Problem

There are risks to global warming policy as well as risks to global warming, and although the former could be costlier than the latter, they are often neglected in climate change debate. While it may seem far-fetched to some that responding to the "climate crisis" could do more harm than good, it is in fact already happening. Consider the biofuels mandate, which is contributing to the very global warming problems it was designed to prevent. click link above to read entire story.

The very food-related problems that we see today are much like the hypothesized future ones that were supposed to be caused by global warming. That global warming policy is more likely a contributor than global warming itself is a strong enough reason to rethink this policy.

For this reason, Congress should repeal its current biofuels mandate. In addition, as the Senate soon takes up debate on S. 2191, the major global warming bill, it should heed the biofuels lesson and avoid any measures that may also prove to be more trouble than they are worth.

2008 Farm Bill Update

The information below was supplied to MFA by the American Forests and Paper Association (

Today the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 2419, The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 by a vote of 81-15 following yesterday’s passage in the House by a comfortable 318-106 margin. The President is expected to veto the measure, but given vote counts in each chamber, his veto will likely be overridden and the bill will become law.

Provisions of interest to the industry that are included in the conference report are:


ü An AF&PA supported one-year version of the TREE Act, which provides a maximum 15 percent corporate tax rate on qualified timber gain for regular tax and AMT purposes. Timber must be held more than 15 years to qualify. It also includes a number of REIT modernization provisions, also for a one-year period from date of enactment.

ü Tax deductions for landowners who take steps to conserve habitat for species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act. These provisions provide for the first time incentives associated with taking affirmative steps to protect listed species on private land. AF&PA worked in a broad coalition including the Farm Bureau and several environmental groups in support of these incentives.

ü The conference report also includes a new, $1.01 per gallon production tax credit for cellulosic ethanol. This credit reflects a reduction from the original amount of $1.25 per gallon which was contained in the Senate passed version. Consistent with our biomass policy, AF&PA did not take a position on this provision.

ü Accompanying this provision is language which was sought by many of our members requiring an analysis by the National Academy of Sciences of the tax credit’s impact on regional agricultural and silvicultural capabilities of commercially available forest inventories, the selling price of forest products and the maximum amount of biofuels production capable on U.S. forests.


ü New grants and loan guarantees for demonstration and production scale biorefineries. Consistent with our biomass policy, AF&PA succeeded in securing language that allows for consideration of the impacts of new biomass demand on existing facilities as well as the potential for new markets and rural economic development. In addition, existing wood and paper facilities will be eligible for these grants.


ü An amendment to the Lacey Act prohibiting importation of wood obtained from illegal logging. AF&PA worked in a broad coalition of conservation and industry groups to support this language. Illegally sourced wood costs the US wood products sector an estimated $460 million annually.


ü Greatly increased access to conservation programs (such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program) for non-industrial, private forest landowners.

ü Language directing States to set priorities for the conservation of private forests, and allowing the allocation of some Forest Service State & Private Forestry funds through a competitive process.

ü Language allowing extensions and other types of flexibility to purchasers of Federal timber who have been impacted by steep declines in solid wood markets.


ü Provisions extending the Market Access Program at the current $200 million annual funding level through 2011 and extending the Foreign Market Development program at its current $34.5 million through 2012 are included in the bill. These programs help develop markets for U.S. agricultural products, including forest products, overseas and are important components of the U.S. wood products industry’s international trade strategy


ü A study of rural transportation issues which includes an examination of the sufficiency of railroad capacity in rural American as well as the sufficiency of rail competition and reliability of rail service. The study, which is due to Congress 9 months from enactment, also would address reasonableness of rail prices and adequacy of a federal process for resolving rail customer grievances with the railroad.

Chopped Up

Number of mid-Atlantic forest owners increasing due to parcelization: Officials in PA, MD and VA report that the number of private citizens owning forestland in the Chesapeake region has reached an all-time high, with millions now holding title to relatively small tracts of forest, often less than 10 acres of land.

Chesapeake Bay Cellulosic Biofuels Listening Sessions

The Chesapeake Cellulosic Biofuels Project is hosting listening sessions this month. These sessions are being held to solicit stakeholder recommendations for the development of a “Roadmap” for guiding the evolution of next generation biofuels in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The comments and recommendations that are offered at these sessions will be shared with the Panel that is currently exploring the production and use of next generation cellulosic feedstocks for biofuels development in the Chesapeake Bay region. The Panel’s findings and recommendations will be released in early September and forwarded to the Chesapeake Executive Council for its consideration.

Our vision is that the Chesapeake Bay region can lead the nation in the transition to cellulosic biofuel production. If developed correctly, the production of renewable fuels from feedstocks grown and harvested in the region can produce significant economic and environmental benefits. If developed incorrectly, the emergence of a major biofuels industry in the region could degrade soil, water and air quality and wildlife habitat and deliver additional pollutant loadings to the Bay. Our effort is focused on supporting biofuel development so that it benefits our farms, forests and the Chesapeake.

Below are the dates and locations of the four listening sessions they are holding over the next two weeks.

Tuesday, May 13 Harrisburg, PA 1-4 P.M.

Wednesday, May 14 Charlottesville, VA 1-4 P.M.

Tuesday, May 20 Frederick, MD 1-4 P.M.

Thursday, May 22 Centreville, MD 1-4 P.M.

We hope to see you and one of the upcoming sessions and we look forward to receiving your recommendations for how biofuel development in the watershed can be best supported. Thank you again for considering this opportunity to help both the Bay and our emerging biofuels industry.

Delegate Jim Hubbard, Chairman

Chesapeake Bay Cellulosic Biofuels Panel

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

In an effort to raise awareness about diseases spread through tick bites, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) recognizes May as Lyme Disease Prevention Month, an annual event sponsored by the American Lyme Disease Foundation. Diseases spread by tick bites include Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis.

Lyme disease is an important public health problem for people of all ages. It is the most commonly diagnosed tick-borne disease in the United States. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious health problems, chronic arthritis, nerve and heart damage.

Prevention is the key to avoiding tick bites. The best preventive measure is to avoid areas where ticks live - tall grass, brush and wooded areas - especially during the late spring and early summer. People should check themselves, their children and their pets daily for ticks. Biting ticks must remain attached on the human body for at least 24 hours to transmit Lyme disease.

In December 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the world's first vaccine for the prevention of Lyme disease. "This vaccine works to kill the bacteria in the tick," said Dr. Johnson, "so the tick is unable to pass Lyme disease to people." The vaccine is another level of protection that people can use to prevent Lyme disease. The efficacy of the vaccine in preventing Lyme disease in the study population was 78 percent after three doses. Officials recommend that you talk to your health care provider about whether you should be vaccinated with the Lyme disease vaccine.

If you live, play, work or visit an area where ticks are found, wear light-weight, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pant legs. This should enable you to more easily spot ticks. Make sure the pant legs are tucked into socks and the shirt is tucked into pants. Use tick repellents (be sure to read package directions before using on infants or children). Frequent, body checks (especially scalp, ears, armpits, groin and other skin folds) should be done at least every day. Consider getting the Lyme disease vaccine if you frequent tick-infested areas. People at highest risk of getting a tick bite include those associated with areas that have a large tick population.

If you find a tick on your body, remove it properly and immediately. If possible, use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible and pull straight back and up with a slow steady force. If you are without tweezers, use your fingers, but protect them by using a tissue or glove.

Although prevention is best, if you develop Lyme disease symptoms, seek treatment immediately. The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a circular reddish expanding rash often at the site of the tick bite. It typically has a pale center with a red rim, giving the appearance of a "bull's eye." You should see your health care provider if you develop flu-like symptoms (headache, fever, chills, tiredness), a rash, or muscle/joint aches or pain, within 3-32 days after you find a tick attached.

All stages of Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics under the care of your health care provider. It is almost never too late to treat Lyme disease. Long-term problems can be prevented with early attention and treatment of Lyme disease.

For more information about Lyme disease contact your local health care provider or local health department.

2009 MAERDAF Grants Open through July 7

The 2009 Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF), administered by the Rural Maryland Council, is accepting grant applications through July 7, 2008. MAERDAF provides grants to rural-serving nonprofit organizations that undertake statewide and regional planning, economic and community development, and agricultural and forestry education projects. MAERDAF also provides grants to community colleges that support small and agricultural businesses through enhanced training and technical assistance.

Research Could Help State Forest Managers with Land Use Decisions

Queenstown, MD – The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. released a report today that could assist Maryland’s forest managers as they seek to maximize the benefit from management decisions on state-owned properties. The report, entitled “Estimating Timber and Non-market Values of Maryland’s State-Owned Forestland,” details the value of four goods and services provided by Maryland’s state forests that, with the exception of wood for timber, do not show up in traditional markets and are therefore hard to estimate.
For the press release or to read the full report, visit

MFA starts blog

Dear MFA Members and Friends

We're seeking ways to increase connections in Maryland's forest community. MFA and its well-known newsletter, THE CROSSCUT, have been advocating for forest health, stewardship and wise-use of our resources since the mid-70's. Ten years ago, in 1998, we began our web presence at

Now we're trying to reach further by beginning this blog.
This will be a place for MFA's leadership and members to let others know about events of interest, issues of concern and other items related to forests and forestry in Maryland.

MFA will continue to publish its bi-monthly newsletter and send email alerts and updates to our members via our listserve. This blog will give us a way to archive our listserve messages and also allow others to learn more about our forest community.