If you enjoy spending time in Vermont's forests, then you're a prime candidate to become a Forest Pest First Detector!
The effort to combat invasive forest pests such as the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorn beetle and hemlock wooly adelgid first depends on finding and identifying the bugs. That's the job of Forest Pest First Detectors, and a coalition of forest advocates is trying to train at least one first detector in every town in Vermont.
The Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program is hosting a day-long Forest Pest First Detector training Saturday, June 13 in Montpelier. Prior to attending the training, registered participants are expected to complete seven online modules. The online and in-person training will include information such as:
- Pest biology
- The potential impact of the pests on Vermont's forests
- Screening for potential pests
- Sample collection
- Working with the media
Once trained, first detectors will be given a toolkit that includes a manual, hand lens, ruler, sample collection supplies and mounts of an Asian longhorn beetle and emerald ash borer.
Trained volunteer detectors will sign-up to cover at least one Vermont town for a minimum one-year term. The job entails educating the public about the threat posed by invasive forest pests, preparing communities to respond to an identified invasion and screening potential pest sightings. First detectors will also be expected to respond to requests for assistance from the public as well as the program coordinator.
To register contact Gwen Kozlowski, (802) 656-6646, by June 9.