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Forests and the Insect Factor: A National Factor (c. 1973)

Texas Forestry Museum

Sound | c. 1973

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  •  The interrelation of organisms is vital for the planet’s survival, a notion known as ecology  
  •  The benefits of tree farming in comparison to “letting nature take its course” 
  •  Brought from Europe, Lymantria Dispar (known as the gypsy moth) reeks havoc on Northeastern trees in the United States 
  •  Saylorsrug, Pennsylvania, resident Janet Weidensaul describes the overwhelming destruction of gypsy moths on her entire yard 
  •  James Bean, the program manager of Gypsy Moth Research for the US Forest Service, explains tree mortality caused by the insects 
  •  Richard Grist, a forester in West Virginia, expresses concerns for the spread of gypsy moths without the help of DDT 
  •  Pierre Vite, program director of the Boyce Thompson Institute, speaks on DDT use in Sweden 
  •  The area of destruction caused by the spruce budworm in Maine is the equivalent of the entire state of Connecticut 
  •  State foresters theorize several options to control the pests 
  •  Some insects, such as the pine bark beetle in the American south and Rocky Mountain region, are not effected by pesticides  
  •  Texas Forest Service entomologist Joe Pase explains the life cycle of the southern pine beetle 
  •  John Sisley of the Georgia Kraft Co. worries that the beetle procreates faster than humans can harvest the infected trees 
  •  Texas Forest Service entomologist and Texas Forest Service State Forester from 1967 until 1981, Paul Krammer discuss control aspects to minimize losses caused by the southern pine beetle 
  •  Texas Forest Service entomologist Joe Pase and John Wood, head of the Texas Forest Service Forest Management Department, discuss some of the problems associated with effectively controlling the spread of Southern pine beetle infestations 
  •  Bark beetles in the Rocky Mountains; “they just don’t understand or respect man’s land boundaries” 
  •  Rem Kohrt, a forester in Saint Anthony Idaho, speaks about the mountain pine beetle in the Targhee National Forest 
  •  The tussock moth causes widespread destruction of the forests in the Pacific Northwest 
  •  Concluding the dangers of insect damage 
 
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Presented by the American Forest Institute, this educational film utilizes animation, interviews, and real footage to educate its audience on the overwhelming destruction wrought by certain insects on American forests. The film visits various parts of the country, stressing the widespread threat of pests in all climates, terrain, and regions. Foresters and scientists brainstorm different solutions including pesticides and harvesting. The film criticizes the federal ban of DDT in the early 1970s, which increased the prevalence of insect pests. The pests listed in the film include the gypsy moth, spruce budworm, pine park beetle, and tussock moth. Animator Charles Vess went on to become a notable fantasy and comics artist, known for his collaborations with authors Neil Gaiman and Charles de Lint. Animator Steve Segal became a notable filmmaker, known for the cult classic, Futuropolis.