Invasive species program gets new name

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 12:20 PM EDT
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BAY CO., Mich. (WNEM) - The Bay County Gypsy Moth Suppression Program’s name has been changed due to a species name change.

The Entomological Society of America officially adopted the name “Spongy Moth” as the new common name for the Gypsy Moth in 2021. The new name refers to the forest defoliating insect’s distinctive sponge-like egg masses, which are used in management as a key population indicator.

The program staff wanted the name to include all aspects of their program. Those aspects include their work:

  • Managing outbreak Spongy Moth populations in the rural woodlots of northern Bay County;
  • Treating and sustaining nearly 3,000 publicly owned ash trees throughout the urban forested areas of Bay County to protect them from the devastating effects of the Emerald Ash Borer; and
  • Preparing and educating the public on new invasive species that may affect local horticulture in future years to come.

After consideration, and outreach to local partners on optional names which better represent the diversity of invasive species work the program undertakes throughout Bay County, staff have decided the name of the program will officially be changing to the “Bay County Forest Sustainability Program.”

“We believe the Bay County Forest Sustainability Program is a name that is broad enough to showcase the diversity of invasive species work performed by the program, but also targeted enough to represent the unique niche in which our work can be categorized,” said Program Coordinator Jeremy Lowell.

Lowell also wanted to ensure members of the public that no changes will be occurring to the current millage, to the program operations, or to the management of the current invasive species we work with throughout Bay County.

If you have any questions regarding the program name change you can contact Lowell at 989-895-4195 or email

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