State officials are shutting down a popular hiking area in Connecticut due to pesky gypsy moths.
Miles of trails in the Trail Wood Sanctuary at the Connecticut Audubon Society's 168-acre site in Hampton will soon close for the winter months, thanks to the work of the gypsy moth caterpillar.
After consecutive years of these pests eating the leaves, many trees are dead and have become a threat to hikers and others who could get hurt from falling limbs and trees.
"The gypsy moths have gone after primarily the white and the black oak,” Sarah Heminway with the Connecticut Audubon Society said.
The Connecticut Audubon Society officials said they're forced to bring in foresters and loggers to start tagging and removing the dead trees. The society members said that by doing this the sanctuary will be a healthier place for the forest, its creatures as well as visitors.
"If we're going to do a selective cut lets also look at how we can improve the habitat as well,” Heminway said.
The trails are marked and the property was once the home of naturalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edwin Way Teale and his wife Nellie, who walked these woods every day.
"The hope is all the work would be done this winter however one never knows what the weather is going to bring us,” Heminway said.
The society members said by doing the work during the winter, the heavy equipment will have the smallest impact on the forest floor and be completed in time for bird nesting season April 1.
If anyone wants to learn more about Trail Wood or the Connecticut Audubon Society, click here.
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