From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources local residents are being invited to assist Patoka Lake in cutting up hazard trees dropped by staff in high use areas of the property with the purchase of a permit. Trees are being removed on the property due to the threat of fallen or loose limbs in the campgrounds and beach areas. Most of the trees being removed have extensive damage from the emerald ash borer.
The emerald ash borer is a an exotic beetle feeding on ash trees and was discovered in the US in Michigan in July of 2002. The emerald ash borer arrived in Indiana shortly after in 2004. The EAB is native to eastern Russia, northern Japan, and Korea. It is not known for sure how it arrived but it was most likely in the wood used for stabilizing cargo in ships arriving in the US from China. Heavily infested trees exhibit canopy die-back usually starting at the top of the tree.
Purchasers are encouraged to use all of the firewood they cut this winter, and if some remains, it is suggested that the wood be completely covered for storage through the spring and summer, when harmful insects, if present at may emerge from under the bark.
Citizens who would like to take part in the wood cut and clean up will need to purchase a firewood permit which will be available in November. A permit is required to participate in the clean up and can be obtained at the property office between 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekdays beginning Thursday, November 3. For more information please call the park office at (812) 685-2464. The funds received from the permits will aid in resource management efforts with in the property.