Texas Forest Pest Management Cooperative Discontinued – Here is a 20-year summary
The Forest Pest Management Cooperative (FPMC), initially called the Western Gulf Forest Pest Management Cooperative when it began in March, 1996, is administered by the Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS). The FPMC, with a small staff in College Station and Lufkin, conducts applied research on forest, seed orchard and urban tree pests. After nearly 21 years, TFS decided to terminate the FPMC at the end of 2016. Reasons for this decision were multifold. The FPMC has addressed most of the major insect problems confronting forest industry in the mid-1990s. Accomplishments included development and the field testing of new insecticides or management practices for seed orchard pests, regeneration weevils, Texas leafcutting ants, pine tip moth, and conifer bark beetles, among others. For various reasons, the destructive southern pine beetle essentially disappeared from the Western Gulf Coast in 1997 and has remained at low levels in most other regions in recent years. The change in and ownership from large forest industries to Timber Investment Management Organizations (TIMOs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) effectively reduced the number of current and potential dues-paying members. The financial resources required by TFS to operate the cooperative became unsustainable, particularly given the reduction in outside grant funding opportunities and the declining number of members.
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