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Agriculture | Forestry | Ecotrope

In Oregon: Sudden Oak Death Is Here To Stay

Oregon is admitting defeat in its fight to eradicate one of the state’s 100 worst invasive species.

That’s the conclusion from Oregon’s 2011 Invasive Species Report Card, which was released this week. The state lost points for failing to keep the invasive fungal disease from spreading in the forest north of Brookings (see the 2006 Oregon Field Guide episode above for some great background).

Sudden Oak Death kills tanoak trees and also threatens rhododendron and the nurseries that grow them.

Dan Hilburn is a member of the Oregon Invasive Species Council. He said many agencies joined forces to find all the infected trees and burn every trace of the fungus. They had hoped to eradicate the disease. But with inconsistent funding, they fell behind.

Hilburn: “We were always stopping and starting and that seemed like the disease was getting ahead of us every time we stopped. So it did not work. We did the best we could with what we had, but it wasn’t good enough.”

With more infected sites than the state has money to treat, the state’s new strategy is to contain the disease and slow its spread.

Invasive species

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