Wednesday, April 13, 2016

North Cheyenne Cañon will be sprayed for moths. Learn more tonight.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:06 PM

click to enlarge Douglas fir tussock moth larvae will be killed by spraying later this year. - COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy City of Colorado Springs
  • Douglas fir tussock moth larvae will be killed by spraying later this year.
In January, I wrote about the city's plan to treat parts of the urban forest for a moth infestation. 

You can read the full story here. But, in short, the area around North Cheyenne Cañon is very overgrown and at risk for fire. That risk is being exacerbated by invasive moths that could kill off trees, leaving behind dry wood. Because of that the city wants to kill the moth larvae.

To do that, the city plans to spray the forest with a bacteria. Here's part of what a I wrote about that in January:

The city, working with privative land owners, plans to spray North Cheyenne Cañon Park, Blodgett Peak, Bear Creek Cañon Park, Seven Falls, some El Pomar lands, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and possibly the NORAD area in early June. The spray will target two types of moths: the tussock moth and the Western Spruce Budworm. The moths, which are native to the area, have reached epidemic levels. That's a problem, because the larval moths feed on certain spruce and fir trees, defoliating them. While a strong tree might be able to survive losing part of its foliage, or even all of its foliage, for a single year, repeat attacks sap the tree's strength and kill it.

The area will be sprayed with a bacteria commonly found in soil, foliage, wildlife, water, and air. It kills moths and butterflies if they feed on impacted plants while in their larval stage.

Naturally, some people are concerned about the spray and want to learn more. The city will host an open house today about the spray:

Tussock Moth Aerial Treatment Plan Public Open House

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Pikes Peak Region is currently experiencing a rather aggressive infestation of two species of defoliating moths in our forests; the Douglas-fir Tussock Moth and Western Spruce Budworm which is causing thousands of trees to become defoliated, or have the needles eaten down to the branch or twig. These trees are brown and “look dead", although many may not be. In order to protect our forests, the City of Colorado Springs' Forestry Division will be implementing an aerial treatment plan in early summer of 2016.

The public open house will take place on:
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
6 to 8 p.m.
Gold Camp Elementary
1805 Preserve Dr.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Special thanks to our partners: El Paso County, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado State Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Colorado State Parks.

For more information, please visit https://www.coloradosprings.gov/tussock.

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