The Times West Virginian

Z_CNHI News Service

November 7, 2013

Flight 93 national memorial park battling invasive pest

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. — At first glance, the white specks dotting the Flight 93 crash site's famed hemlock trees give a soft white, welcoming touch.

The tiny puffs almost look like snow. But they're actually egg sacs for invasive insects known as the woolly adelgid, and they are slowly killing the hallowed ground's hemlock grove, according to Keith Newlin, National Park Service deputy superintendent for western region, which manages the Flight 93 National Memorial.

It's an issue the park service and its partners are working to battle through a mix of treatment efforts getting underway this month, park officials said.

"Right now, the trees are still fairly healthy. But we've got to knock these buggers back," Newlin said.

The grove is perhaps the most sacred piece of the Flight 93 property. When the United Airlines plane fell from the sky on Sept. 11, 2001, killing all 40 passengers and crew, the hemlock trees absorbed much of the impact and crash remains, investigators said at the time.

The Hemlock woolly adelgid, or HWA, feed on hemlock needle sap, robbing the trees of nutrients. The needles then turn gray and die, leaving the tree itself to starve to death, often three to five years after the initial infestation, according to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ website.

A mix of bark spraying, soil tablets and other efforts will be used at different times of the year to drive out the HWA bugs, park superintendent Jeff Reinbold said.

"We hope that these treatment methods will protect the hemlock trees and help us preserve the crash scene," he added.

The treatment plan will continue for the next three years, Newlin said.

David Hurst writes for The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pa.

1
Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    The paper looked at how many delicious steamed sliders the minimum wage has been able to purchase over time. The point is that as it notes, in 1981, the $3.35 minimum could buy a whole dozen. Today, at $7.25, it could purchase just 10.

    April 21, 2014

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 21, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 21, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads