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The report on the Introduced Pine Sawfly infestation prepared for the Township of the Archipelago (TOA) was presented to Council’s Economic Committee on October 19th (draft) and November 22nd (final). The latter is available in its entirety on the TOA website (click here to view).  We encourage everyone to give it a careful read as it contains some valuable information. However, we question some of the recommendations and hope to offer some better alternatives.
Rejecting the proposed option of “Doing Nothing,” PaBIA’s environment committee is developing a pro-active strategy with specific recommendations for action beginning this June, when pine sawflies emerge from their cocoons.  In the interim, we will be investigating options for use of pesticides for invasive species, and a number of new alternatives being studied specifically for use against the introduced pine sawfly.  As well, the committee will be looking into how we might coordinate efforts of those wishing to use TreeAzin applications to a few ‘special’ trees to reduce costs.  Unfortunately, there is no means of assessing whether these trees are healthy enough to warrant treatment until new growth appears in the spring. As with pesticides and other options, no action can be taken between now and May. In the interim, be assured that the sawfly may be dormant over the winter, but PaBIA’s environment committee will be hard at work.
While responsibility for control of the infestation rests with individual property owners, PaBIA and the TOA will work together on a public education program focusing on prevention and limiting spread of the infestation. The GBBR is currently preparing an information flyer for Georgian Bay cottager associations to send to their members, along with a workshop planned for April in Toronto. Aside from a full report in the 2016 Yearbook, PaBIA’s committee will be conducting an information workshop at the Ojibway Club on Sunday morning, July 10th.  We are thrilled that Dr. Taylor Scarr, senior entomologist with MNRF and scientific advisor for the Invasive Species Centre, has agreed to present the case for control of introduced pine sawfly infestations and respond to our questions. We will keep you posted.