The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is urging landowners to sign up for the 2022 Cooperative State-County-Landowner (CSCL) Gypsy Moth Suppression program. The program is focused on protecting the landowners\u2019 forested acreage from devastating effects caused by the invasive gypsy moth. The sign-up period runs from July 1 until Aug. 31, 2021.\r\n\r\n\u201cWest Virginia\u2019s forests are one of our state\u2019s most important resources. From tourism to our timber industry, our forests are an important economic driver,\u201d said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. \u201cAs we face more invasive species such as the spotted lanternfly, we hope people will take advantage of programs like these.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe minimum acreage required to participate in the program is 50 contiguous acres of wooded land. Adjoining landowners may combine their properties to meet the acreage requirement. Once applications and deposits are received, a forest health protection specialist will visit the landowner\u2019s property to determine if the level of gypsy moth infestation meets program guidelines. A final decision to participate in the program will be made in early December 2021.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive insect that feeds on hundreds of species of trees and shrubs, including West Virginia hardwoods,\u201d said WVDA Plant Industries Assistant Director Butch Sayers. \u201cDefoliation by gypsy moth caterpillars can weaken trees, making them more susceptible to other pests and diseases. This treatment program helps safeguard our forests from further damage.\u201d\r\n\r\nApplication forms and brochures are available at https:\/\/agriculture.wv.gov\/divisions\/plant-industries\/forest-health-protection\/. Landowners may also obtain applications at local WVU Extension offices and WVDA field offices in Charleston (304-558-2212) or New Creek (304-788-1066). A non-refundable survey deposit of one dollar ($1) per acre, not to exceed $500, must be submitted with the application. This deposit will be applied toward payment for treatment if the landowner qualifies.\r\n\r\nFor more information, contact Quentin \u201cButch\u201d Sayers at firstname.lastname@example.org or G. Scott Hoffman at email@example.com.