Vermont's Forest Pest First Detector program is a collaboration between several state and federal partners, each playing an important role in the success of the program.
The U.S. Forest Service provides information and technical assistance, conducts research and coordinates interstate survey and control activities. The First Detector Program is currently funded by grants from the U.S. Forest Service.
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) is responsible for the conservation, and management of Vermont’s forest resources, the operation and maintenance of the state park system, and the promotion and support of outdoor recreation for Vermonters and our visitors. In addition, FPR is responsible for the acquisition, planning, coordination and administration of all Agency of Natural Resources lands. Jim Esden, Jay Lackey and other FPR staff provide technical assistance to First Detectors, provide training on pests, conduct pest and biosurveillance surveys, and assist with the recruitment of First Detectors.
UVM Extension provides research-based educational programs and practical information concerning Vermont communities, families and homes, farms, businesses, and the natural environment. Caitlin Cusack and Kate Forrer serve as liaisons between First Detectors and technical experts, facilitate trainings, oversee volunteers and provide continuing education and outreach for First Detectors.
Vermont Agency of Agriculture Plant Industry Section works to detect, intercept and control plant and insect pests that threaten Vermont’s native plant and agriculture resources. Emilie Inoue and other agency staff provide training and technical assistance to First Detectors, conduct surveys for pests in Vermont communities, and provide assistance with diagnosing specimens sent in by First Detectors.
USDA APHIS-Plant Protection and Quarantine Program safeguards agriculture and natural resources from the entry, establishment, and spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds into the U.S. and supports trade and exports of U.S. agricultural products. Rhonda Mace and other Vermont staff respond to EAB and ALB screening requests, support the First Detector network; coordinate pest surveys and provide training and technical assistance with community preparation.
UVM's Plant Diagnostic Lab aids Vermont greenhouses, farms and orchards by assisting in the identification and control of pests and diseases. Ann Hazelrigg provides training on sample collection protocol, provides pest diagnosis assistance and serves as the liaison to the National Plant Diagnostics First Detector Program.
For more information on Vermont's Forest Pest First Detectors program, contact Caitlin Cusack at 802-223-2389 x222,