Kenai Peninsula residents have free access to expert help in dealing with the spruce bark beetle infestation.
Ed Holsten, research entomologist and resident beetle expert for the U.S. Forest Service in Anchorage, praised the response efforts in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
The borough has organized a task force and a special, federally funded program to coordinate response to problems caused by beetles and dead trees.
"I think the most effective program that has been going on is the borough's," Holsten said. "Community-driven efforts are much more effective than agency projects."
He recommended that peninsula residents with questions or concerns about beetles should contact one of the following:
n Kenai Peninsula Borough Spruce Bark Beetle office: Call Michael Fastabend at 260-6202.
n Cooperative Extension Service: The university's extension service employs an integrated pest management technician available to visit people's yards for on-site inspection of trees and advice on how to protect, treat or remove them. Call Janice Chumley at 262-5824.
n Alaska Division of Forestry: The state offers a forest stewardship program for people who have more than 7 acres of land. Personnel will visit and help landowners develop management plans. Call Al Peterson, presale forester, at 260-4221.
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