Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership

Partnership focuses on saving Hemlocks from invasive pest

The Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership, with the assistance of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, accepts donations that will be used to treat priority Hemlock Conservation Areas infested with the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid on state public lands.

In forests near you, there are magnificent hemlock trees that are dying before their time. These long-lived evergreens provide dense shade that keeps forests and streams cool throughout much of eastern Tennessee. That cooling shade not only makes these forests pleasant to visit; it’s also important for many animals, especially fish and aquatic creatures.

36 of the 37 Tennessee counties with native hemlock are now infested with the non-native insect pest known as Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Many of these hemlocks have been growing for hundreds of years. Now they are being killed by adelgids in as little as three years.

To combat this deadly threat on the Cumberland Plateau, the Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership has been formed. The group encompasses staff from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Division of Forestry, National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, US Forest Service, University of Tennessee, as well as concerned individuals. Together, the partners have identified Hemlock Conservation Areas (HCAs) on public lands where treatment to save hemlocks will take place over the next several years. HCAs consist of the most important areas of hemlocks on Wildlife Management Areas, State Parks and Natural Areas, State Forests, National Park Service, and The Nature Conservancy lands.

Since the Partnership has access to a very limited budget, it cannot save all the hemlocks on the Cumberland Plateau, but instead is focused on saving the most important Hemlock Conservation Areas. These are selected for their high scenic value or ecological significance, including habitat for rare and endangered fish and wildlife, and protection of sensitive streams and rivers.

Your donation will help ensure that hemlocks on public lands will stay on the landscape and provide important habitat, clean water, and beauty for many years to come!

For more information about the hemlock conservation areas, please contact Jackie Broeker with the Tennessee Division of Forestry: 615-917-6504 or Jacqueline.Broeker@tn.gov.  For more information about hemlock woolly adelgid, visit http://protecttnforests.org and click on “Tennessee Forest Pest,” and visit The Nature Conservancy website www.nature.org, and type “hemlocks and how to save them” into the search box.

     Banner Image – Hemlock Branch Infested with the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid