The Lula Lake Land Trust is gearing up for the fight to save its hundreds of lovely hemlock trees.
With the recent discovery that the hemlock-destroying woolly adelgid has been spotted on Lookout Mountain, Executive Director Bobby Davenport said plans are being mapped out to identify where the majority of the land trust's hemlocks are located and to hire a contractor to innoculate as many as possible.
He said the advance of the damaging adelgid is "the single greatest threat ever to the beauty and ecology of this place that thousands love.
Mr. Davenport said, "We have completed a preliminary inventory of our hemlock stands using infrared imagery to calculate the acreage where the hemlock is the dominant species. We excluded upland coniferous stands which are primarily Virginia and yellow pines, and focused our study on the waterways that the land trust protects.
"There are 319.3 acres of evergreen forest that match this standard, concentrated mainly around and upstream of the lake and falls, Gerber Branch, and a large cove forest below High Point where the first phase of the connector trail runs.
"There are also several hundred acres of similar forest within Cloudland Canyon State Park, as well as smaller stands within the holdings of the Lula Lake Land Trust.
"While daunting, this task is manageable, if we can continue to attract the donations that fund well-managed public access and dealing with the threat that the adelgid represents to the beauty and ecology of our waterways, where many of our popular trails are built. An unintended benefit of the trail infrastructure is that is gives our future contractor access to these coves and draws. We believe that this network of trails, combined with the good will of our donors and the land trust's track record of excellent stewardship of philanthropic resources, does, in fact, keep us ahead of the game. We can beat this thing, and keep bringing you world class recreational access to the land that the land trust and our partners have protected."
Contributions may be made to:
Lula Lake Land Trust
29 Mount Olive Road, Suite A
Lookout Mountain, Georgia 30750