Cooperative Gypsy Moth Suppression Program Approach

Major Components

Cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) receives technical advice and financial assistance as part of a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, State and Private Forestry. Some stipulations of this agreement include that MDA follow certain federal and Forest Service policies. Among these is the requirement to follow National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) procedures. Some specific NEPA procedures are:

  1. Establish a public involvement program to elicit any issues or concerns regarding proposed program activities.
  2. Clarify and address these issues and concerns; and
  3. Document these and other actions and procedures in an Environmental Assessment (EA) which is specific to each year's proposed program and is published and made available to the public.
  4. Dovetail the EA document and the proposed actions and procedures with the Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the U.S. Forest Service for all state and federal gypsy moth suppression programs.

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Policy on Cost Share Arrangements

The Maryland Cooperative Gypsy Moth Suppression Program utilizes cost share funding from two sources: The U.S. Forest Service, State and Private Forestry; and participating jurisdictions and agencies. It is the Policy of the Department to conduct gypsy moth suppression services on State land utilizing State and federal funds but not local funds. The cost share funding contribution from the local political jurisdiction is essential to having sufficient funds for the conduct of gypsy moth suppression services on private lands. Therefore, services will not be rendered in those jurisdictions where some sort of local cost share arrangement is not in place (See FPM No. 6, "County cost share options and guidelines for participation by municipalities, forestry boards and certain other groups"). The Maryland Department of Agriculture does not require or mandate that the local jurisdictions, municipality or forestry board participate in the Cooperative Gypsy Moth Suppression Program.

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Conduct of the Cooperative Gypsy Moth Suppression Program on State Lands

MDA will cooperate with Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in treatment site selection and program implementation on State lands.

  1. Protection of trees on State lands will be assigned first level priority.
  2. MDA and DNR will establish a base program of specified number of acres for protecting designated State lands.
  3. Designated sites will be provided continued protection, using integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.
  4. MDA and DNR will develop and implement in selected areas a site-specific gypsy moth pest management program, using IPM methods to maintain pest populations below levels appropriate for each site. Preventative controls will be utilized more in high value/high use areas, whereas only prevention of tree mortality or prevention of defoliation will be the goal in wildlife or timber resource areas.
  5. Other State owned lands will be considered for treatment on a case by case basis on the merits of the value of the tree resources and the potential cost of removal of dead trees or branches necessitated by public safety at the site.

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Conduct of the Cooperative Gypsy Moth Suppression Program on Private Lands

Use established site selection or site qualifying criteria (See FPM No. 1). Use established system and criteria for determining priority of sites (See FPM No. 1). Insecticide of choice, i.e., B.t. or Dimilin, for each site will be determined according to MDA policies dated November, 1989 (See FPM No. 2 and FPM No. 3). Objection by individual property owner will be handled according to MDA policy dated November, 1989 (See FPM No. 4). Community-based request for alternative insecticide will be handled according to MDA policy dated November, 1988 (See FPM No. 5).

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Regional Review and Adjustment of Treatment Site Selection Process and Suppression Program

a. Make any necessary changes in the maximum number of acres to be included in the suppression/containment program conducted in each of the five regions of the state in response to changes in infestation levels.
b. Treatment site selection and priority for site selection will be determined by staff on regional basis instead of on statewide basis in response to local population trends and regional socio-economic needs.
c. Will allow program to address local needs or specific needs of each region, i.e., rural areas may utilize different (lower) priority levels for site selection than urban areas.
d. Where feasible and affordable, additional acreages may be selected and treated in a particular county by prior agreement. If State funds are limited, the county must be willing to pay also the equivalent of the "state" share of the costs.

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Continued Encouragement of IncreasedParticipation in Gypsy Moth Management Programs by County, City orTown, Community, Neighborhood and Other Private Groups or Individual Landowners

a. MDA provides technical advice, assistance (as feasible), and information to such cooperators and interested parties.
b. MDA encourages local control programs to use integrated pest management process for dealing with gypsy moth at selected population levels.
c. MDA will coordinate the State Cooperative Suppression activities with local programs to avoid duplication and conflict and enhance the combined effectiveness of both programs.

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Continued Conduct of Enhanced Public Information and Education Programs

a. MDA will take a proactive approach to making information available through a variety of sources and media, including issuance of newspaper articles, press releases, videos, newsletters, reports, pamphlets, class room instruction, teacher training, and speakers roster.
b. MDA will have a primary contact at Annapolis to coordinate public information activities and to answer questions of the public.
c. MDA, or MDA in cooperation with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service, will make available leaflets or pamphlets regarding the gypsy moth and how the public can deal with it.
d. MDA will use a variety of media and approaches to keep citizens appraised of current gypsy moth population level trends and predictions in their area to help citizens make responsible pest management decisions.
e. MDA will make available to the public in each county lists of commercial pest control firms licensed by the Department to provide services relating to gypsy moth.
f. MDA will make directly available to community or neighborhood associations articles or leaflets and group training regarding what an individual or a community [not in a suppression treatment site] can do to recognize/manage gypsy moth.
g. MDA will make available personnel to conduct talks or informational meetings to community, neighborhood or other private groups who request it on an as-available first come basis.
h. MDA will continue to conduct intensive and extensive notification of proposed program activities in affected areas. Every effort is made to identify landowners within proposed treatment areas and notify them directly by mail providing written information about the insecticide and aerial application procedures. Included is an accurate map of the proposed treatment area and a toll free number to find out when application is about to start at specific sites.

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