New Yorker Article / Back 40 Films   Will Blozan
  December 5, 2007  

Hey all,

It’s finally out! I got a copy of The New Yorker today and was very pleased. Richard did a great job conveying the visuals of the dying forest to words.

David Huff and I are currently moving forward on the fund raising effort for the film, “The Vanishing Hemlock”. If you have any contacts you would recommend we pursue for funding please email David (the executive producer/director) or me. His email announcing the article is forwarded below. Better yet, if you want to donate funds yourself please visit the link below! All donations are tax deductible through the Southern Documentary Fund and can be processed electronically. If you haven’t seen the production stills from the documentary shoot they are great shots! Awareness of the seriousness of this pest has to spread faster than the bug itself. This can only happen by reaching the “masses” and getting the word out so trees and forests can be saved.

 Thanks for your support in any way it comes!


David Huff:

From: David Huff []
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2007 12:12 PM
To: Will Blozan;
Subject: Will Blozan (subject of Hemlock Documentary) is featured in The New Yorker

Dear Friends,

Will Blozan, the subject of our documentary The Vanishing Hemlock, is featured in a fantastic article in the December 10th issue of The New Yorker magazine which is on stands now.

To donate to the documentary on Will, and his work to save the hemlocks,click here. To view production stills from our shoot in the Smokies, and to see pictures of these amazing trees,click here.

Thank you for your support!


David Huff

Executive Producer/Director  

Abstract from

Richard Preston, Letter from North Carolina, "A Death in the Forest," The New Yorker, December 10, 2007, p. 64

 LETTER FROM NORTH CAROLINA about parasites attacking eastern hemlocks. In 1951, an Asian insect known as the hemlock woolly adelgid was discovered near a park in Richmond , Virginia , which contained imported evergreens. The adelgid is a tiny bug similar to an aphid, and is parasitic to hemlocks. Describes the life cycle of the bug and how it spreads. The female can have as many as ninety thousand offspring in a year without fertilization by a male. Tells about effects of infestation. The adelgids were not an ecological concern until the late nineteen-eighties, when a stand of hemlocks forty miles east of Richmond was found to be ninety per cent dead. Describes the trees attributes and range of growth. Many of the trees are in Great Smoky Mountains National Park , which covers half a million acres in Tennessee and North Carolina . The adelgids spread rapidly. Gives examples of other invasive species threatening chestnut, ash, and sugar maple trees. Describes how globalization and climate change affect the spread of invasive species. Lists new states where the adelgids have recently appeared. They could cause the hemlock to become functionally extinct. By 2002, they had spread to the Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smokies, which contains eighty per cent of the worlds tallest eastern hemlocks. Tells about research into species of beetles that are natural predators of adelgids. Bayer makes an artificial nicotine insecticide, Imidacloprid, which is injected into the soil and carried through a tree by the root system, killing the feeding bugs. Securing funding and approval to use Imidacloprid in the park was a slow and byzantine process, during which many more trees died. Discusses the conflicting interests and the manpower required to treat infested trees. Writer goes with Will Blozan, an arborist, into the Cataloochee Valley . Most of the trees are dead. They climb Jim Branch No. 10, the healthiest tree in the park. Describes effects of adelgids on hemlock canopy life. Blozan has founded the Tsuga Search Project, an effort to identify and measure the worlds largest and tallest eastern hemlocks before they are gone.