Gypsy moth population on the rise in surrounding areas

Elk County Conservation District Manager Steve Putt reported an increase in the gypsy moth population during Monday night's regular meeting."The gypsy moth population is increasing again," Putt said. "If you follow the gypsy moths at all they really run in cycles so you will have a couple of years of high populations then the population will drop off and you will have a couple years of very little or no population then all of a sudden it will spike again and we are in that upward spike at this point."Putt said northern Cameron County near the Potter County line has a significant population as well as in Jefferson and Forest Counties."It looks like in Elk County at least it's kind of spotty here," Putt said. "I have seen a few around, but nothing where there is a huge population of egg masses, but being that it's on both sides of us it is probably coming our way."According to Putt, at this point, funding for suppression programs are not available from Department of Conservation and Natural Resources."There is probably not going to be a program in this area for the 2012-2013 season, but if the populations continue to increase we will probably see that program come around again."In other business, Jim McCluskey was appointed as an associate director to the board.Putt reported on the progress of the Elk County Monitoring Project in lieu of Watershed Specialist Kim Bonfardine's absence.Putt said the satellite telemetry system in Fox Township has been installed and will be online with the two systems in the Horton Township/Brockway area.Some data loggers have been pulled from streams due to concerns with trout fishermen and will be relocated. "The others [data loggers] in more secluded areas [Bonfardine] left in," Putt said. "Those are continuing to collect data well."Pick up a copy of the Tuesday, April 24, 2012 of The Ridgway Record for more.Next meetingElk County Conservation DistrictMonday, May 286 p.m.Annex Building, Conference Room No. 2