Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials recently announced that the Goose Lake and Long Lake state forest campgrounds (SFCs) are undergoing cleanup work after a recent timber sale. The timber sale was conducted this past winter to address and control the spread of oak wilt disease (oak wilt) by removing all dead and dying red oak trees in the campgrounds.
Goose Lake and Long Lake SFCs will remain open for camping during the cleanup. Both are located in Missaukee County, approximately three miles northwest of Lake City. The cleanup, along with campground road improvements, is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day weekend.
Timber sales control the spread of the disease by removing dead, potentially hazardous trees from the area. “We understand that for forest visitors familiar with the campground, the removal of the diseased red oak trees has resulted in a dramatic change in appearance from what they were accustomed to,” said Dave Fisher, Cadillac Unit manager. “However, leaving these diseased trees would only impact more and more of the surrounding forest land.”
Oak wilt is caused by a fungus that can spread rapidly. Fungus spores can spread oak wilt overland, and insects move the fungus spores to any fresh oak wounds from April thru July. Once infected, the fungus can be spread from tree-to-tree by root grafts. Oak wilt has been expanding in the northern Lower Peninsula in recent years, where it is found on both private and public lands. Fisher said it was clear the DNR “needed to take prudent action to control this serious and deadly tree disease.”
For more information regarding oak wilt, please refer to Forest Health Highlights – 2010 and Forest Pests located on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/foresthealth.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.