Contact Us

DEP Gears Up Early In Southern Pine Beetle Fight [AUDIO]

Flickr User Guamo

Nearly 7,000 acres were lost to southern pine beetle infestations in 2011 and 14,000 acres were destroyed the year before.

With the mild winter we’ve had in New Jersey, the Department of Environmental Protection is starting earlier than ever to combat the pest, which is showing signs of early activity. Suppression grants are available to private landowners, municipalities, counties and local groups.

Currently, 26 municipalities in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties have been notified that they appear to have infestations. Spotty pine beetle activity has been detected in areas as far north as Ocean County.

“We’ve started aerial surveillance flights and have begun cutting infested trees on state lands due to early activity,” said DEP Spokesman Lawrence Hajna. “We don’t know how bad it’s going to be this year, but we are very concerned because of the pine beetles are remaining active. Usually the cold winter temperatures keep them dormant or kill many of them off. That hasn’t been the case this year.”

“The beetles are about the size of a grain of rice and they burrough into the life-giving cambium layer of pine trees and creates networks of tunnels that cut off nutrients to the trees themselves,” said Hajna. Infestations are marked by the sudden onset of yellowish needles that quickly turn brown. The bark of infested trees may show numerous excretions of yellowish-white sap oozing from tubes that the beetles bore into the bark.

The New Jersey Forest Service is using $315,000 from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service grant program to fund three local grant programs to combat the southern pine beetle. For more information on the grants, visit

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Best of WOBM-AM

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Beachcombers quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.