Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
August 27, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
PAGE 12     (12 of 36 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 12     (12 of 36 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
August 27, 2014

Newspaper Archive of Feather River Bulletin produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

12A Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 Feather River Bulletin Caterpillar invasion alarms Plumas residents Laura Beaton Staff Writer Some residents of Meadow Valley and Bucks Lake are concerned that the tussock moth larvae caterpillars are creating a fire threat by defoliating the forests. Huge swaths of brown-tinged white fn" trees cover the ridges and slopes of Plumas National Forest, not only in the La Porte area (as featured in the Aug. 13 story Under Siege) but in the Meadow Valley and Bucks Lake areas as well. Defoliation has also occurred throughout the Lassen, Modoc and Tahoe national forests. The caterpillars eat the tips of young fir needles, causing the branches to turn brown and shrivel up. According to a U.S. Forest Service press release, limited outbreaks of the Douglas-fir tussock moth were observed in northern California in 2013 and again in 2014. "Damage (defoliation) for 2014 has already passed, so no control is currently warranted. Evaluations will be conducted this fall to determine what, if any, defoliation might occur in 2015." The female tussock moth cannot fly, and stays on the cocoon after hatching. Females emit a pheromone to attract males. After mating, they lay eggs on the cocoon and die. Thus, predictive evaluations include getting out in the forest and checking egg masses on the cocoons in the fall, according to entomologist Don Owen at California Department of Forestry and Forest Protection. Owen has had many years of experience as a forest health specialist and has documented numerous tussock moth outbreaks, including one at Bear Mountain near Redding. He said that the fire danger in the short term on the Plumas is not all that great. Owen said, "The message is that most of these trees that are brown and look bad will recover. It may not look like it now, but they will recover." Owen created a PowerPoint presentation, "White fir Recovery and Mortality Following the Douglas-fir Tussock Moth BearMountain Outbreak 2005-2007." The study summarizes key data and presents dozens of photos This aerial photo map depicts the Douglas-fir tussock moth outbreak in the Plumas and surrounding forests. Map courtesy Plumas National Forest "The message is that most of these trees that are brown and look bad will recover. It may not look like it now, but they will recover." Don 0wen Entomologist taken of damaged trees in 2007 side by side with follow-up photos taken of the same white firs in 2009 and 2011. To access this PowerPoint go to, click on Resources at the bottom of the page and choose the title listed above. Or call 805-550-8583 for more information. Another excellent source for information on the Douglas-fir tussock moth is "Forest Insect & Disease Leaflet 86," available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service at This leaflet describes the damage caused by DFTM and explains the life cycle of the moth. It lists several outbreaks and statistics, including an outbreak in the Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington that killed 39 percent of all trees in the heavily defoliated areas. Owen said that the Bear Mountain outbreak followed a typical three-year cycle -- population release, peak and decline -- and he thinks that what's happening on the Plumas is similar. He said that a "natural enemy complex" consisting of parasitic insects, predators and virus kicks into action during a DFTM outbreak during the second, or peak, year. The natural enemies attack young caterpillars and usually bring the outbreak to an end a year later. "I have seen so many outbreaks up and down the state -- you have these peak years, then the natural enemies exert a control in the third year." Owen said that from an ecological standpoint, the tussock moth caterpillar is taking advantage of a forest that's a little out of whack. He said white fn" is an understory species, and that by thinning out the areas too heavily concentrated, it might actually be helping the overall forest health. Owen said he worked on the tussock moth outbreak in the late 1980s that occurred on Tamarack Flat in Meadow Valley. At that time they sprayed to help control the outbreak. He said it is unlikely that a big spraying project like that one will reoccur. He said many people question whether the expense and risk to people and the environment posed by spraying is worth it. Owen said he and entomologist Danny Cluck will be surveying affected areas of the forest, probably in mid-October. They will analyze egg masses and evaluate the likelihood of further defoliation. He said that private landowners can choose to spray or log affected areas if they want to. But to his knowledge, timber companies in northeastern California are not planning to take such measures. Public areas like the national forest can also choose to spray or log, but the public process takes much longer and involves more studies. PNF Beckwourth Ranger District timber sale and contract specialist Thobe Oestreich said he doesn't anticipate any timber sales as a result of the outbreak. "We're not anticipating mortality. We'll just keep an eye on it," he said. For more information go to MOHAWK, from page 11A professional career or from their individual pursuits. The range of topics will be open and based on the potential interest to community members. Launching the Speakers Bureau on Thursday, Sept. 18, (5:30 - 6:30 p.m.) is Dr. John Scott, addressing prostate health. Scott is the chief urologist at the Banner: Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. : He spent the majority of his !) in Reno after serving i: career in the Army Medical Corps ' during the Vietnam War. Light snacks and beverages : will be provided at this free ' event held at MCRC. This fall is also full of fundraisers to support MCRC. The annual Fall Into Fashion luncheon and fashion show will be held Sunday, Oct. 5, at 12:30 p.m. at Longboards Bar & Grill in  Graeagle. This event feature a fashion show with clothin from local merchants , modeled by locals, a silent auction, food and a no-host bar. Tickets are $30/person, available for purchase at MCRC, Graeagle Outpost, Graeagle Millworks and Queen Bee Boutique. Also, MCRC's annual Spaghetti Dinner is set for Saturday, Nov. 8. MCRC is : located next to The Barn at , the intersection of highways:: 70 arid 89, and is open ii: Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for all other scheduled programs and activities. For more information about MCRC and/or any of these community events, email mcrc@plumasruralservices.? org or call 836-0446. More information is also available on the Plumas Rural Services website at www.plumasrural; MCRC is a service of Plumas Rural Services. FAIR, from page 11A comments has been positive. For putting on an event of this size, with a staffof only two, the fair board is pleased with the outcome. Several projects have been identified that would benefit from having a volunteer manager. The fair board plans on announcing those positions and their job descriptions in the next few months. Those interested are urged to contact the fair office. Kingwood Oak or Russet Hickory 5" Hardwood Flooring Was $8.99 sq. ft. $449 CLEARANCE sq. ft. SUPER BUYI LIMITED EDm0N MODEL 1829 10 YEAR PILLOW TOP SET King Set, Regular $899 ................................ SALE 'ed88 Queen Set, ReguJar $789 ........................... SALE s388 Full Set, Regular $549 .................................. SALE $ Twin Set, Rular$499 ....................... : ........ SALE $2lm Queen sets r0m s298 Twin Mattresses from s9cJ Roadhouse Hickory or St. Simeon Acacia 12mm Laminate Flooring Was $4.99 sq. ft. S199 CLEARANCE sq. ft. LAIIO Solid Oak Furniture On Sale Now! Like this 42" TV Console Regular $499 $3N YOUR CHOICE ONLY s429 EACH All 3 recliners available in 30 custom order fabdcs. TAKE AN EXTRA 5% OFF all sofa & Ioveseat sets when you buy both pieces! NO INTEREST WITH PAYMENTS FOR 6 MONTHS!*