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DNR releases update on health of Michigan's forest land

Contact: Ron Murray, 517-284-5886 or Ed Golder, 517-284-5815
Agency: Natural Resources

Feb. 21, 2014

Michigan's approximately 20 million acres of forest land play a key role in the state's recreation, forest products and other important industries, and the health of those forests is essential to sustaining this vital resource for many generations. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released its 2013 Forest Health Highlights report, an overview of Michigan's forests, the insects and diseases that have threatened them over the past year, and details about what DNR staff is doing to improve forest resources.

The report breaks down forest health threats by examining insects and diseases, forest decline, invasive plant control and other health concerns. Accompanying photos and maps illustrate the pests and show the effects they have had on Michigan's forest system.

Highlighted in the report are DNR's efforts to control oak wilt, a serious disease that threatens Michigan's extensive red oak resource. In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, tens of thousands of feet of root graft barriers have been installed on state forest land. These barriers prevent oak wilt from moving to healthy trees through infected root systems.

"The key to slowing the onslaught of exotic invasive organisms in Michigan's forests is public awareness," said Dr. Bob Heyd, DNR Forest Pest Management program manager. "The Forest Health Highlights report provides timely information about the condition of our forests and what's being done to protect this important resource."

To learn more about the health of the state forest, check out the 2013 Forest Health Highlights report by visiting

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

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