Sleeping Bear Dunes looks to prevent tree problems

EMPIRE, Mich. (AP) — The National Park Service wants to stay ahead of beech bark disease at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/19z8nKF ) officials hope to create a more aggressive tree take-down and restoration policy. The National Park Service is seeking public input on a hazard tree management plan, and comments are being accepted until Feb. 15.

The plan is in its exploratory phase and would need to pass an environmental assessment and other hurdles before it could be implemented.

The lakeshore's ash trees also are being hit by the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle. And there's concern that the park's oak trees, while currently healthy, could eventually fall victim to oak wilt, a fungal disease that's been reported in Benzie County.

___

Online:

http://www.nps.gov/slbe

___

Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.