Infestations of crickets, grasshoppers and mountain pine beetles, which are wreaking havoc with ranges and timber in Fishlake National Forest, will be fought with chemical applications this year.
Crickets were so thick in Millard County on the west side of the Canyon Mountain Range last year that some areas were literally black with them.Forest Supervisor J. Kent Taylor says more infestation of grasshoppers was discovered on the east side of the range. An additional 8,500 acres will be treated with chemicals this year, he said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that about 90 percent of a ponderosa pine stand in Meadow Creek Canyon is heavily infested with mountain pine beetles. Taylor said some of the trees will die by next spring, and the others will become infested unless control programs are conducted.
Infested trees must be removed and the remaining trees sprayed with insecticide. Taylor said a follow-up spraying will be needed in two years to totally eliminate the beetle infestations. The stand is isolated from other ponderosa pines in the forest, so spraying has the potential of completely eliminating beetles in the timber stand.
About 200 dead trees on three acres will be harvested. Additional information may obtained by contacting Bill N. Wright at the Ranger District Office in Fillmore.
Taylor said the rangeland grasshopper management program will be conducted with the cooperation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plan Health Inspection Service. That agency will implement the program through its field offices.
Forest Service personnel will ensure that on-site operational procedures and safety measures are carried out. Doug Reid may be contacted at the Fillmore District office for further information about this program.
It was also announced that a project to stabilize the stream channel and improve trout habitat in flood-damaged areas of Chalk Creek east of Fillmore is scheduled this year. The forest-management plan calls for fish habitat improvements where aquatic habitat is below productive potential.
The project will include stream-bank stability through installation of rock and rip rap; planting willows and other vegetation; seeding grass and forbs; installing instream structures of log and rock; and turning rocks to provide pools and cover for trout, direct flows, reduce stream velocity and stabilize the creek.
Reduction of long-term sedimentation and increasing bank stability will be beneficial effects of the project, along with improving fish habitat. Recreational opportunities will be enhanced in the canyon.
Taylor said it has been determined that none of the projects will have adverse environmental effects, so environmental assessments or impact statements won't be prepared.