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For Immediate Release
April 6, 2001
Release #CDFA01-030
Contact: Steve Lyle
Adrian Woodfork

Public Input Sought at Upcoming Regional Meetings

SACRAMENTO-The California Department of Food and Agriculture is preparing an Environmental Impact Report for the Pierce's Disease Control Program, a coordinated statewide program that prevents severe agricultural and economic damage due to Pierce's Disease, spread by the glassy-winged sharpshooter.

Pierce's Disease infects grape vines, effectively choking the tissues that deliver water and nutrients throughout the plant. Infected vines usually die within a few years. The disease has been present in California at relatively low levels for decades, but is cause for heightened concern because the glassy-winged sharpshooter, newly arrived from the southeastern U.S. and northern Mexico, can spread it much more rapidly than native insects. The program is designed to contain the spread of the disease and the insects until researchers find an effective treatment or cure.

The Pierce's Disease Control Program began with the passage of SB 671 on May 16, 2000, which created the program under emergency provisions. The program includes five major elements: public outreach and education, statewide survey and detection, containing the spread of the insect and disease, rapid response to new infestations, and research to generate a long-term solution.

The environmental impact review process will begin with regional public meetings in mid-April to give the public an opportunity to comment on the scope, focus and content of the report. The meetings are scheduled as follows:

April 10th from 6pm to 9pm
Napa Valley Expo, Riesling Hall
575 Third Street
Napa, CA
April 18th from 6:30pm to 8pm
County Administrative Center
4080 Lemon Street, Room 13
Riverside, CA
April 12th from 6:30pm to 9pm
San Luis Obispo Veterans Hall
801 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA
April 19th from 6:30pm to 8pm
Tulare County Agriculture Department
2500 Burrell Avenue
Visalia, CA

FLEX YOUR POWER. To meet California's energy challenge, CDFA urges businesses and consumers to conserve. For a list of simple ways that you can reduce demand and cut your energy costs, see our Web site:

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