October 29, 2010
Kansas Department of Agriculture
(785) 296-2653 phone
Volunteer pest detectors needed to protect Kansas trees
TOPEKA—The Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Kansas Forest Service and Kansas State University are looking for people who have an interest in protecting Kansas trees from high-risk invasive pests to take part in pest detector workshops in Emporia, Hays and Garden City.
The workshops are to train tree care professionals, master volunteers, forestry and natural resource workers, environmental educators and others to identify pest infestations in Kansas’ natural and cultivated trees. As trained pest detectors, the volunteers will be able to promote early pest detection and help educate the public about pests like the emerald ash borer and thousand cankers disease of walnut.
“Signing up to be a pest detector means being available and willing to do site visits, to talk to the public and to report pest infestations,” said Jeff Vogel, manager of the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s plant protection and weed control program. “We need folks who are committed to taking a stand to help protect our trees from dangerous pests.”
Anyone who has a background in tree or forest health is a candidate for training. At a minimum, a candidate should be:
- Able to identify common trees;
- Willing to be contacted and to work with the public;
- Prepared and able to visit sites, if necessary;
- Frequent users of the Internet and e-mail
- Ready to document emerald ash borer and thousand cankers disease of walnut related activities;
- Able to guard confidential information.
Training is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Workshops are scheduled:
- Friday, Nov. 12, at the Courthouse Annex, 402 Commercial Street, Emporia.
- Friday, Nov. 19, at the K-State Research and Extension Center, 1232 240th Avenue, Hays.
- Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Finnup Center, Lee Richardson Zoo, 312 Finnup Drive, Garden City.
Registration for training must be complete at least three days prior to the workshop. The registration form is available on the Kansas Forest Service website at www.kansasforests.org/calendar/index.shtml or by calling Patricia McCaffrey at (785) 532-3301.