This October First Wednesday Seminar on the Forest Health Initiative (FHI)—a broad endeavor sponsored by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the US Forest Service, and Duke Energy— explored new tools to address forest health challenges in the 21st century.
Does modern biotechnology have a role to play in forest health? Are there situations for which genetic modification should be considered to protect US forests? These and related questions were highlighted at this seminar, where panelists considered forests and the FHI, as it seeks to determine whether biotechnology could be used to address forest health issues related to climate change, insects, and diseases. The goal of the three-year initiative, which culminates at the end of this year, is to develop a plantable tree, resistant to blight, that is socially acceptable, economically feasible, and meets regulatory muster. A diverse group of scientists, environmentalists, policymakers, professional organizations, social groups, and industry have participated in the process. (To learn more, visit http://foresthealthinitiative.org).
Adam Costanza, President, Institute of Forest Biotechnology
Carlton Owen, President, US Endowment for Forestry and Communities
Jim Reaves, R&D Deputy Chief, US Forest Service