This organization is dedicated to the preservation of the Eastern Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, a tree species threatened by an introduced insect, the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid or "HWA". Throughout the Appalachians, entire forests of this tree have been destroyed and HWA is now well established in Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests where most trees are in severe decline. Many are near death including the giant 300-400 year-old Hemlocks of the Citico and Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Areas and Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP). Although many trees within the park have been treated, the national forest wilderness areas remain almost entirely unprotected.
Efforts to establish biological control through the use of predator beetles are underway but many feel that the Hemlocks will be lost long before biological controls become effective. But we can "buy time" by preserving trees through the use of systemic insecticides applied to the tree roots, a practice widely used in GSMNP even in remote wilderness areas.
This organization will work to ensure the preservation of at least a small number of intact old-growth Hemlock stands within the wilderness areas and other public lands of Tennessee and surrounding states. This can be accomplished by the following means:
Raise public awareness of the problem
Encourage the US Forest Service and state agencies to treat for HWA within the wilderness areas and other old-growth stands