Be Proactive - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1998546

Be Proactive

Many thanks to Fred Thiele for taking the initiative to investigate the effects of beech leaf disease, a new, as yet incurable, rapidly invasive blight that is currently threatening to destroy both our native and ornamental beech trees in large sections of our country.

Assemblyman Thiele sits on the standing Committee on Environmental Conservation in Albany, a committee chaired by Suffolk County’s District 4 assemblyman, Steve Englebright, which can direct key resources to help combat invasive species that are increasingly threatening New York State’s natural flora. Such action is now called for. Our nation’s scramble to address COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated the importance of being proactive and prepared.

Professor Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate, School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Riverhead’s Cornell Cooperative Extension, is among the limited number of New York’s forestry experts currently leading efforts to discover both the cause and cure for beech leaf disease, or BLD. Margery is remarkably accessible and willing to share updated information concerning BLD as it becomes available.

She notes, given increasing pressure caused by environmental change and invasive species, downstate New York would be well-served by recruiting additional forestry experts. Assemblymen Thiele and Englebright would well serve the residents of downstate New York by directing financial and other key resources to help.

Robert P. Iovino