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By Marc Lutz
Wrangell Sentinel 

Budworm outbreak shows signs of ebbing throughout Tongass


Marc Lutz/Wrangell Sentinel

Austin O'Brien, staff timber officer with the U.S. Forest Service in Wrangell, looks over an area of trees south of Pats Lake that has been damaged due to an infestation of the blackheaded budworm that began in 2020.

Scientists and staff with the U.S. Forest Service are hopeful that the blackheaded budworm outbreak that began three years ago throughout the Tongass National Forest is beginning to decline.

Data collected earlier this year revealed not only the extent of the damage done by the half-inch insect but evidence showed the worms are dying off.

Elizabeth Graham, an entomologist with the Forest Service, said in a news conference on July 20 she has seen firsthand that there is lower activity of the bug on Douglas Island near Juneau, and that many are "sickly." Since Juneau and Haines were on the no...

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