By Kristin Rover
Property owners who have been affected by the Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive pest that was discovered in Clermont County in June of 2011, may be able to get assistance replanting trees on their property.
An informational session was held at Grant Career Center July 8 so that property owners could find out more about the program.
Tim Wilson, with the Ohio Division of Forestry and Lori Lenhart, with Natural Resources Conservation Services, spoke about the program during the session.
Wilson said this is the second time they have met to discuss the program in the county.
“For landowners in the quarantined areas, a dedicated program has been put in place to help landowners restore their woodlands,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the Clermont County area was allotted $50,000 for the program.
He said part of the woodland restoration is also preventing invasive species from taking over and that is also part of the program.
“When you lose trees that creates gaps in the canopy and we tend to see a quick onrush of invasive plants,” Wilson said.
He said species include bush honeysuckle, privet, and more.
“The two focuses are control the invasive species and restore lost trees through tree planting,” Wilson said about the program.
Wilson said he will work with land owners who apply to develop a plan for their property after they apply to participate in the program.
In addition to planning how they will prevent invasive species from controlling the woodland, he said he will also help determine the best trees for the property owner’s land and a plan for planting the trees.
Lenhart said they previously enrolled 10 people in the program from Clermont County.
“Ten people who I’ll be working with over the next 10 years,” she said.
She said first property owners must apply for the program and if they are approved she and Wilson will help them begin working on a plan for their property.
Once a plan is in place, Lenhart said the property owner will be asked to sign a contract agreeing to follow through with the plan.
Lenhart said property owners could get anywhere from $33-$200 per acre through the program.
Lynn Buede, of Tate Township, who lost trees because of ALB, applied for and was approved for the program.
“It was easy,” Buede said about the application process.
Buede said she had a lot of invasive plants she was planning on getting rid of so the program made sense.
She said she still has a few questions and concerns for the program, but she said the Lenhart and Wilson have been helpful working with her on a plan.
Frank Wilson, of Tate Township, said the program does not make sense for him because he had all of the high risk host trees and infested trees removed from his property, leaving very few trees.
He said he also does not have the invasive species on his property.
Frank Wilson said he can see the program being helpful, though, depending on the property type.
Lenhart said the deadline for applications to be in for the program is July 18.
Lenhart said they will rank the applications by Aug. 1 and have pre-approvals ready by Aug. 4. She said contracts for the program will be due Aug. 29.
For more information about the program call Lenhart at (513) 732-2181 or Wilson at (937) 378-4920.