Forests and forest related industries face mounting threats from a variety of invasive insects and pathogens.  From the current destruction caused by emerald ash borer to future threats from thousand cankers disease, asian longhand beetle and more, these pests have the potential to decimate key tree species.  Unless we act decisively, these invasive insects and pathogens will result in the loss of additional foundational forest tree species, which will be harmful, if not catastrophic, both economically and environmentally.

To address this challenge, the University of Kentucky, the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, and the Kentucky Division of Forestry have partnered to form the “Forest Health Research and Education Center.”  Through regional, national, and international collaborations, the FHC will conduct biological and social science research to improve the resilience of our eastern forests to threats like these invasive pests.   The center's biological research team is focused on bettering understanding and enhancing genetically-based tree resistance.  The social research team is investigating the economic and cultural impacts of tree, forest, and ecosystem loss.  Meanwhile, the center’s education and outreach programs will inform stakeholders, researchers, and the general public of forest health issues, best practices and opportunities to connect through participatory research networks. 

If you are interested in learning more please visit our website, www.foresthealthcenter.org.