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For Release: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DEC and Sherburne-Earlville High School Students Tag Ash Trees

Students from Sherburne-Earlville High School's (Chenango County) AP Biology class will be assisting the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC's) Region 7 on May 22 and 23, 2012, by tagging ash trees on the school's campus. This aim of this project is to raise awareness about the Emerald Ash Borer and is part of Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week which runs from May 21-28, 2012. Tagging of ash trees is an outreach tactic used to educate the public about how many ash trees may be lost to the Emerald Ash Borer if infestation happens in a given area. Other states have successfully used this program to promote awareness and to educate the public about how many ash trees the state has and what they look like.

Before tagging the ash trees DEC Senior Forester Paul Romanenko will give students an overview about the Emerald Ash Borer, including where the invasive species has been identified in New York, and how to recognize when it has attacked ash trees. Students will also learn how to identify an ash tree so that their tagging efforts will be accurate. Following this instruction the students will be given purple ribbons and bright yellow signs that read, "This - and all NYS Ash Trees- are threatened by the invasive insect Emerald Ash Borer. To find out how you can help save ash trees visit DEC's website and search "Emerald Ash Borer" or Call NYSDEC toll free at 1-866-640-0652. Help slow the spread and Don't Move Firewood." The ribbon is strung through a hole in the yellow sign and then around the ash tree.

Alan Irwin, the students' AP Biology teacher, will decide where on the school property tagging efforts will be targeted. Likely areas will be behind the school near the property pond, around the athletic fields and along a trail system that runs through the property woodlot which is open to the public for recreational hiking.

Times for the tree tagging are as follows: Tuesday, May 22, 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm and Wednesday, May 23, 9:30 am to 11:00 am.

Sherburne Earlville campus property is nearly 450 acres with nearly 300 acres in forest. The property has been actively managed for forest resources in the past, and the DEC will be working with the school district on developing a forest stewardship plan for the property over the course of the summer. This will assist the district with future management decisions. Recommendations for managing the ash component of the forest, which is quite significant, will be a primary focus during development of the stewardship plan.

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