The students from the Ellicottville Central Environmental Science class went on a field trip on Nov. 6 to Allegany State Park. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was doing a pheasant release in the area. The students helped Tom LeBlanc and crew in releasing Ring Necked Pheasants that had been raised at the DEC Pheasant Propagation Facility near Ithaca.
Students participating were Reed Carney, Tom Easton, Cam Eddy, Connor Fitzpatrick, Josh Garthwaite, Zach Golley, Daneth Musall, Phalla Musall, William Quinn, Connor Schmick, Dentyon Sherwood, Jocelyn Steffan, Hunter Steffenhagen, Lacey Tabak and Morgan Zlockie.
The other component of the trip was an overview and population count of the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA). The HWA is a small invasive insect pest that feeds off the needles on branches of the Eastern Hemlock. HWA is related to aphid-like insects, so their presence is hard to detect other than a whitish type of growth along needle bases along the branches. A quick survey of the area revealed no apparent presence in a former area of infestation and concern.