Imported forest pests cause $2 billion in damage each year

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Woodpile From Sawn Pine And Spruce Logs For Forestry Industry

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Imported forest pests cause $2 billion in damage annually.

Ecologist Gary Lovett of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York says invasive pests slip into the county on solid wood shipping pallets. He says they’re changing forests far more dramatically than either pollution or climate change.

In a study published this month in the journal Ecological Applications, Lovett and 15 colleagues estimate that 63 percent of U.S. forest land is at risk of increased damage from established pests. They say new pests continue to arrive with cargo shipments from overseas.

Scientists estimate the cost of damage at $2 billion each year, with communities and homeowners bearing the greatest cost.