- Commissioner of Conservation 1979
Spruce budworm populations in the Maine forest expanded dramatically in the early 1970's, and since 1972 massive aerial insecticide spray projects have been conducted annually to control budworm populations and preserve tree vigor. Some argue that this spraying has perpetuated the budworm epidemic by delaying tree mortality and thereby preserving the insect's food supply. For the short run, however, chemical spraying is the only technique available for protecting the raw material supply over large areas. Most professionals now agree that the long term solution is to grow balsam fir on shorter rotations and to encourage growth of the less susceptible spruce.