Our mission is to coordinate state-wide efforts of land owners, state and federal agencies, government officials, and concerned citizens to conserve New York State’s hemlock trees. We integrate research, management, and outreach to conserve New York State’s hemlock resources in the face of multiple threats, particularly the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), an invasive insect. Additionally, we research and implement biological control strategies for forest insect pests.
We focus on Hemlock Woolly Adelgid because in New York, hemlock mortality due to HWA has been increasing at an alarming rate. Given the circumstances, a state-wide strategy for conserving hemlocks must be developed now, before it is too late.
The NYS Hemlock Initiative is based at Cornell University, and while our outreach focus is in the Finger Lakes region, we are involved with hemlock conservation throughout the state. Our current projects focus on developing training materials for volunteer groups, establishing connections with Finger Lakes organizations and individuals with an interest in hemlock conservation, and collaborating with New York’s Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) regions to outline priorities for hemlock conservation within and across regions.