White pine blister rust
Annual Review of Phytopathology
White pine blister rust was introduced into North America at the turn of the twentieth century, threatening valuable white pine resources. Measures to eliminate, contain, or control this disease constitute the most extensive forest disease control effort in time, money, men, and materiel in the history of US forestry. The major thrust was protection of pine stands by eliminating currant and gooseberry (ribes) alternate hosts from within and around these stands. Failures with ribes eradication resulted in application of antibiotic fungicides without adequate testing. These failures, coupled with lower dependence on white pines and reduced need for a large reserve of men for fire fighting, led to sudden termination of the program in 1967. The chronology of events and interactions between agencies and personnel responsible for the program provide an interesting case history and, it is hoped, valuable lessons for the future.