As has been done in the past, a protective zone will most likely be established around the location where diseased trees have been discovered, legally preventing the removal of wood from this area. Until then, the public should be aware of this issue and should take proper precautions to keep the trees in our area healthy.The trees in our area are worth protecting, not just for their beauty, but for their value to wildlife. Oak trees in particular provide both a habitat and food source for many animals, including birds and small mammals.As the weather continues to get colder, please keep the health of the Capital Region’s trees in mind when managing your firewood.Additionally, please be observant of the trees surrounding your home and report any abnormalities to the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Forest Health at email@example.com or call 1-866-650-0652.Grace CoddNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? An outbreak of oak wilt, a fungus that kills oak trees, has been confirmed in Schenectady County as of Nov. 27. This disease has been recorded in our county previously in 2008 and 2013. Killing trees within weeks, oak wilt harms trees by infecting their water-carrying cells, preventing the tree from receiving water and nutrients.Unfortunately, there’s no treatment that’s known to save infected trees. The only thing we can do is prevent the disease from spreading. An extremely effective way of doing so is not transporting firewood, especially oak wood, out of the area. Even if a tree isn’t exhibiting symptoms, it may still be infected. Therefore, any wood from a tree cut down in the area shouldn’t be transported out of the county. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion
Statewide — Duke Energy is providing $300,000 in energy assistance funds to help qualified Indiana customers who may be struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic. The company also is emphasizing that eligible residential customers can avoid disconnections for nonpayment if they establish a payment plan, which can now extend up to 12 months.Duke Energy is working with the Indiana Community Action Association and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Energy Assistance Program, which determines eligibility and distributes the company’s assistance funds.Recipients of the Duke Energy funds must be Duke Energy customers and meet income-eligibility requirements. The company also encourages eligible customers to establish a payment plan, if needed, for any outstanding balances to avoid disconnection.