News in Brief: U.S. Funds Sought in Tree Disease



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A Bay Area U.S. representative has introduced a bill that would provide $70 million for combating Sudden Oak Death.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, requested Friday that the House Agriculture Committee hold a hearing on her bill, HR 2144, which would allocate funds to the Department of Agriculture research in hopes of controlling, combating and eradicating Sudden Oak Death syndrome.

Woolsey's actions come in the wake of a joint UC Berkeley-UC Davis research project confirming the spread of Sudden Oak Death to the saplings of two additional species, Douglas firs and California Redwoods-trees important to the state logging industry.

"Everything possible must be done to control Sudden Oak Death," Woolsey said in a statement.

The bill directs the secretary of agriculture to conduct research, monitoring and treatment of the disease.

Researchers have said Northern and Midwestern oak species may also be susceptible to Sudden Oak Death, increasing the scope of the crisis beyond its present regional impact.

Last week Gov. Gray Davis asked President Bush for $10 million to combat Sudden Oak Death.

Sean Kennedy

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