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The Bible teaches us there are two significant and profound days of wrath coming from God.One is in a physical context which is referred to in scripture as The Great And Terrible Of The Lord.And is a time when God will pour out his wrath on a sinful world, because of their abominable sin and rebellion…Isaiah 2:10-22,1 Thessalonians 5:2-3.


The other is in a spiritual context when God’s wrath will be expressed in a resurrection to judgment against those who have sinned in abominable ways while living in this physical life,unrepentant.This day of wrath will focus on a spiritual destruction and a physical destruction of the wicked and ungodly.


As opposed to a physical destruction exclusively which The Great And Terrible Of The Lord will be focused on.Some self proclaimed ministers deceptively,dishonestly and inaccurately, teach that a simple verbal acceptance of Jesus Christ frees us from this punishment.


Others teach that this event will be in the context of a judgment, and wont involve destruction or punishment but will simply be a day when God informs men of there offenses and then informs them that Christ sacrifice paid the penalty for those sins.


But are these beliefs right and in line with scripture? The truth of the matter is the judgment is the day of wrath upon ungodly men because of their sin and abominable evil.Something that’s clearly outlined by the word of God.Let’s examine scripture to determine what the day of judgment is, and what it involves. Today’s audio is entitled “Judgment Day:The Day Of Wrath.”.This audio was recorded on Febuary 3,2018.


This is actually a remake of a previous version I  did on January 28,2018 but I had to redo it because I inserted Jesus Christ as the Revelator or speaker in Luke 3:7 when in actuality it should have been John the baptist being emphasized as the speaker.A slight error on part as a result of rushing to get the audio done but I will try to insure I don’t make that mistake again.


I also mention  that Christ mentions in Revelation that men will be judged by their works but in the context of the Bible as a whole being Christ in print… because Christ is the word of God in print,flesh and in spirit.John wrote the text but it was revealed to him to write  by Christ through visions.In this context Christ is revealing it to John.I also mention the ungodly will see God face to face but in terms of witnessing the glorious presence of God.Sort of like Moses when he witnessed God’s glory in the burning bush.


In other words, in this case, they wont see his face but will probably see his glorious presence in the form of his body sitting on his throne, but in all likelihood his face will be hidden or cloaked in some way.Because no human can see God’s face and live…Exodus 33:17-23.But they will still be frightened none the less…Hebrews 10:31.



Judgment Day:The Day Of Wrath.

Listen: Judgment Day:The Day Of Wrath.

This audio was recorded on January 28,2018.



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A Wisconsin company is making microchip installs available for it’s employees.I think it’s also important to understand that this technology was made available to this company by a Swedish company which has implemented and offered the same microchip technology to it’s employees.


Sweden….. which is a member of the European Union.Which is where the rise of a prominent political figure who is prophesied to implement this technology worldwide through force will take place. It’s quite obvious that the technology emphasized in Revelation  13:16-17  has finally arrived.


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize where this is  all  heading when you understand scripture.I would stop it dead in it’s tracks if I had the authority to do so. The ultimate cost physically and spiritually for millions is much too high,simply for the sake of  convenience,or even monetary gain. The same objectives can be achieved using microchip cards.


Installing chips in hands is simply unnecessary unless there is some very dubious objectives at play,and according to scripture there will be.And to suggest that they wont be monitoring your actions is ridiculous.I think we put too much faith in carnal,corrupt, greedy men when the bible warns us to beware of them.This is obviously a prelude to the coming widespread implementation  of  this microchip technology worldwide, which will unfortunately have cataclysmic and catastrophic physical and spiritual consequences worldwide.



The subtle and covert implementation of it is how it normally begins,as you see now. After awhile people become desensitized to it overtime.What was once considered repulsive and alarming becomes something that is practiced and implemented with increased frequency,as no immediate negative reactions or consequences are experienced as a result of practicing or using something that was once considered repulsive.This is the case as well with other very dangerous and destructive behaviors and practices that were once viewed as sickening and repulsive(and justifiably so) but which now have been embraced overtime and even legalized. 


But the long term inconspicuous physical and spiritual ramifications are the real dangers here.If I had the authority I would stomp on it like I would stomp on a dangerous bug ,destroy it and stop it dead in it’s tracks.Especially considering that all the benefits outlined can be achieved by using microchip cards or other objects.For it to progress beyond objects to human hosts is absolutely unnecessary and wreaks of diabolical intentions and motives.


The ability for this technology to be used for diabolical means in the hands of  ungodly men and women cannot be discounted.You can’t rule out mind control,24 hour surveillance, and disruption of the physical body as just some examples with this kind of advanced technology, in the wrong hands.


The bible prophesied that this form of invasive controlling technology would be implemented starting in Europe,and other nations would eventually be forced to adopt it.The fact that a Swedish company…. a European company, has provided the technology to a U.S. company is alarming,disturbing, and obviously a prelude to fulfillment of prophesied events.But that doesn’t mean we in the U.S. should follow them down this very dangerous and destructive path.


And I have a very eerie feeling that former President Obama is working behind the scenes  influencing European leaders and companies…..working to insure it’s implemented here in the states.


This no laughing matter.The advancement and implementation of this technology will eventually morph  into a very physically and spiritually destructive movement.But will you follow the eventual prevailing sentiment as it relates to following the masses down that path of destruction, or reject and resist it as is commanded by God for your physical and spiritual benefit?

Revelation 13:12-17


King James Version (KJV)

12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.



Revelation 14:10-12

King James Version (KJV)

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.





Question: You Said In The Audio “Lion Of Judah The Bloody And Violent Return Of Jesus Christ” And In Articles You Have Written That The Glorified Saints & Angels Will Be Fighting Alongside Christ At His Return. But You Also Read A Verse In Isaiah 63:5 Where Christ Says That He Was Alone And There Was No One To Help Him How Do You Explain Both Conflicting Statements?


Donald Bohanon: The verse in Isaiah 63:5 is in relation to the lack of moral support from earths  inhabitants Christ receives or doesn’t receive at his return, not from the glorified saints and angels. That obviously couldn’t be talking about the saints and angels who will be fighting alongside Christ at his return.


In other words when Christ says in Isaiah 63:5 there was no one to help  him and no one was with him he is emphasizing when he returns the whole earth is going to be against him and despise his coming,with the exception of the saints (who will be very few in number by comparison) who will rejoice at his coming and will eventually be caught up in the clouds to meet him themselves.



Those who died in Christ will  be caught up with Christ at his return first,prepared to do battle because they will be the first group caught up in the first resurrection…Jude 14-15.Those who remain alive and who live for and follow Christ will then be caught up and transformed in the twinkling of an eye, into God beings/spirit born sons of God,after which they will participate in the battle as well… 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.



But all earths inhabitants will completely oppose Christ at his return and despise him, so much so,rather than rejoice when he returns, they will instead mourn when he returns,and actually despise his return as they will have been thoroughly deceived by Satan…Matthew 24:30.This is what Christ means in Isaiah 63:5 when he says there was no one with him, and no one to help, therefore his own arm (or his own effort) brought salvation unto him.

Matthew 24:30
King James Version (KJV)

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.




1 Corinthians 15:52
King James Version (KJV)

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.





1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
King James Version (KJV)

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.




Jude 14-15
King James Version (KJV)

14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.






A recent report claims  the U.S. Missile Defense Agency recently suggested a missile defense system is now capable of defending American soil. But what should we take from this? I think it’s important to determine what kind of missile assault would fall under the category of a”defendable attack”. Are we talking about a very limited strike or an all out nuclear strike? I think its important to understand these things so as not to give the American public a false sense of security.


The reason I think that’s important is because there are future prophetic events set to take place that will have a major and quite honestly a destructive impact on America and its citizens.And one of those is a prophesied Nuclear Attack from a trusted foreign ally. Something God and his word emphasizes will take place, if America doesn’t reject the promotion and legalization of offensive sins and or abominations of which I have emphasized and outlined in several articles on this site.But will an advanced missile defense system protect America from such an attack,if God has purposed (as a form of punishment for the nations sins)an attack like this would take place?


Quite honestly there have been several examples in the bible where God has warned sinful nations  through his prophets to depart from abominable behavior or they would be destroyed. And the response in overwhelming instances was those sinful nations who had been warned,rather than heeding the warnings and doing specifically what God had instructed them to do through his prophets, they instead trusted in their military might and in some cases would engage in military buildups in hopes of offsetting what was prophesied to happen. Instead of departing from the specific sins outlined,which God viewed as abominable/very very offensive in nature,at which point they would have been spared.


They instead trusted in their national pride,military might and counsel from military leaders and advisers,and disregarded the commands to change their behavior to fall in line with what God deemed as acceptable behavior.And in every instance those nations were conquered and punished severely for their sins,none of them were able to change the will of God or alter their prophesied fates,with the exception of the  city of Nineveh which turned from their sins as soon as they received the warning,and because of it were spared. The truth of the matter is it will be no different as it relates to the United States.


They will be conquered as well if they don’t depart from the abominable sins that greatly anger God. And the creation of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world wont change that.In fact,according to scripture the attack prophesied to destroy America and bring it to it’s  knees will be a surprise Nuclear Attack. Not unlike the same tactics used by the Third Reich and or a Nazi controlled Germany in that they would gain the trust of nations and then ambush attack them later.


The bible says this coming,future world ruling power, will engage in a similar strategy of conducting warfare. That’s what the bible means when it says in Daniel 8:25 “and by peace shall destroy many” or many nations. Daniel 8:25  is and old testament prophecy describing future events.We also know it’s an end time prophecy because it makes reference to this world ruler and world power standing against Jesus Christ at his return.


So the time sequence is obviously in relation to end time events directly preceding the return of Jesus Christ. The Prince of Princes emphasized in Daniel 8:25 is in relation too or synonymous with Jesus Christ.But that army will be savagely decimated and annihilated by Jesus Christ at his return. After which their dead carcasses will be feasted on by birds and animals of prey..Revelation…19:15-21.  That’s what the statement “but he shall broken without hand” means.The hands are in relation to human hands.The battle will be won by the power and hand of God, not by the feeble hands and strength of man.

Daniel 8:25
King James Version (KJV)

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

In other the words this coming  future world ruling power is going to gain the trust of nations probably through treaties promising non aggression,but only to later ambush attack those nations and conquer them.And I would assume the jamming  of said missile defense systems and radar,through advanced technology and hacks, will play a role in insuring that prophesied surprise attack is successful, so prophecy can be fulfilled.


The truth of the matter is America is on borrowed time if they don’t reject abominable sinful behavior.But it doesn’t have to be that way. America should be on a fast track to undoing the many destructive policies and laws the misguided,ignorant and very dubious, former President implemented, in relation to the legalization of sexual perversions,etc. The same applies in this case as it relates to working to counter or offset God’s will.All the development of advanced missile systems in the world wont help if God has purposed to destroy a nation.


The only thing that will save that nation and insure it’s long term survival is departing from the abominable behavior that offends God. If you want to survive the solution is simple,just heed the warnings an act. God is not expecting America to become a nation where everyone strictly follows every  rule and precept in his word.


That will only happen when Christ returns to establish his government here on earth. But a respect for God evidenced by adherence to a basic form of bible/commandment based morality, with the wholesale rejection of perverse abominable sins is what God is interested in,as a form of appeasement, in order to quell his anger.


But the embracing, practicing and promotion of abominable sinful behavior/sexual perversions,etc,will never be accepted or tolerated,and will only reap death and destruction in the end and very near future.My motivation is to help and warn the nation not to hurt it. In hopes America will muster the courage to do what’s right by God and insure it’s own survival.

Jeremiah 17:5
King James Version (KJV)

5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.




Jeremiah 44:4-6

King James Version (KJV)

4 Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.

5 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.

6 Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.



Ezekiel 14:13
King James Version (KJV)

13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:




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By Donald Bohanon…Sunday 5/28/2017


Much has been reported about President Donald Trumps recent meeting with Nato Leaders. Including an incident that took place where it appeared the President pushed his way to the front of the group for a photo opportunity.Not to mention the fact the President emphasized (something previous President’s haven’t ) the leaders of those nations needed to meet their financial responsibilities as it relates to owning up to their financial commitments. 


Many in the liberal media and others are touting this as some kind of snub or animosity towards those leaders. But is it a snub when the mortgage company request payment on your mortgage? Or is it a snub when the car dealer request the monthly payment on your car? Most rational, responsible people would say absolutely not. So why is it wrong for the President to ask other world leaders to do their fair share (something they agreed to do) in terms of financial contribution?


Germany for instance has a thriving, vibrant economy, why shouldn’t they be contributing more and doing what they promised? Although I don’t see an issue with asking other world leaders to meet their financial commitments.I do think it would be ill advised to completely cut a German led European Union off. I feel that will only quickly give rise to a world  power the bible says is prophesied to come, and I’m not sure that would be a good idea.


Because the bible says when this power reaches it’s economic and military zenith, it will embark on a campaign of world domination and in essence initiate World War III. To allow a German led European Union to essentially go it alone would be the equivalent of allowing a young doe to walk on it’s own.At some point and in a relatively short period of time,that doe will be running at full speed. I think you can apply that same analogy to a German led European Union, and I am not sure that would be a good idea.


I think that would only work to expedite prophesy in terms of the eventual rise of  a power the bible says will be terrible in nature and very destructive.  The bible says they will initially have good intentions as it relates to promoting world peace,etc.But that will all eventually change as they are powerfully influenced by Satan, and the eventual rise of a leader within that conglomerate of nations, and his accepting counsel from a prominent false religious figure,will play a major role in the military direction that power takes.Which will be counter productive to the U.S. and other nations.


I think always keeping very close tabs on a German led European Union would be the wise thing to do.But to allow them to go it completely alone I feel would only be expediting prophetic events. Something God is already itching to bring about because of America’s present pathetic and offensive moral condition.Should other world leaders contribute financially as they are able? Yes. But snatching the proverbial training wheels from under a German led European Union? Absolutely not.As long as America lives in complete defiance of God, prophesy in relation to God’s punishment on America because of it’s abominable sins is going to be fulfilled.


But expediting those events by forcing a German led  European Union to go it alone,especially in the face of increased terrorist attacks on that continent, is not a wise decision at all in my opinion.That will only encourage and give them reason to embark on an aggressive military buildup as well adopting a more prominent role in world and foreign affairs,while using that terrorist threat as justification,which the bible says is prophesied to happen, something that will eventually have catastrophic consequences.


And allowing them to go it alone in the face of increased terrorist attacks will only expedite that process.In my humble opinion America needs to be front and center in the decision making processes as it relates to major issues in terms of Germany’s and the European Unions military expenditures in specific areas,as well as their foreign policy objectives, etc .


But particularly their military expenditures, military goals and foreign policy objectives. Because if not you will essentially be expediting and giving birth to the rise of a world power who’s goals, political and military ambitions you will have not anticipated. And unfortunately  according to scripture it will not bode well at all for the U.S. or other nations.


America’s ultimate long term survival will come not from increased military expenditures and an improved economy alone, but from a complete moral reset and redirection. A complete about face, if you will, in terms it’s moral direction as it relates to the more offensive abominable sins. And if not you can expect the prophesied rise of that power to be fulfilled. America needs to focus on improving and or changing it’s moral direction first and foremost, with a focus on economic and military issues secondarily.



Because if you build militarily and improve economically it still wont change the prophetic outcome as it relates to America’s destiny. God will still proceed with his prophesied chastisement of the nation in various forms, and an eventual military assault from a trusted foreign ally, being one of the primary methods of bringing the nation to it’s knees.



Quite the contrary, keep close tabs on a  German led European Unions military expenditures and foreign policy objectives,insuring those military expenditures are kept to a bare minimum in specific areas as it relates to an aggressive military buildup, and  massive military expenditures and widespread military intervention in the affairs of other nations.While also insuring their foreign policy objectives are limited at best.And keep eyes on the young brash french leader,who appears to have a great deal of respect and admiration for the Pope.


But none of this is in relation to the Paris Climate agreement which I’m convinced is a power and money grabbing sham.And I’m convinced President Barack Obama is the source behind Nato Leaders stance on this issue as he continues to meddle in foreign affairs.To allow them to lead on this issue is tantamount to allowing former President Barack Obama and his agenda to lead you on this issue. 


Allowing them to take center stage as a prominent and influential world power will prove disastrous in the end. But ultimately keeping tabs on a German led European Union, as well as insuring our own nations  military and economic improvement, wont be the long term solution and insure America’s long term survival,(but will only serve to slow the inevitable) but changing our moral stance and position to fall in line with God’s word will.








Revelation 13:16-17

King James Version (KJV)

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.




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God is patient loving and merciful. But he will not compromise in terms of turning a blind eye to the practicing and promotion of specific abominable behaviors and requires that rectifying these things be swiftly acted upon.


He is patient but if he feels you are trying to put something over on him,which you can’t do because he sees everything, he will get back to work and be about the business of punishing this nation for it’s sins. These very offensive sins that greatly anger God and provoke him to action and that destroy spiritually and physically are outlined below.


The legalization and promotion of sexual perversions.

Mass murder and violence in the urban neighborhoods and communities and in the form of abortion.

The mass production and distribution of poisonous GMO foods to the poor and vulnerable.

The promotion and practicing of witchcraft,sorcery and black magic.

The promotion of racism and racial hatred against blacks and whites.



These are the primary issues you need to focus on and if not you can expect destructive weather events to begin to ramp up again.Oh, and not to mention being cursed and hindered and eventually brought low for disregarding the instruction outlined by God, not me.These are God’s requirements not mine,it’s important to get that straight.Although I share God’s hate and disdain for these things as well.


Simply put follow the instruction outlined in terms of the abominable sins and offenses and you will be a success. You must have faith and move forward on these issues no matter how it looks on the surface. But if you disregard the instruction you will be cursed and fail miserably. I don’t care how you get it done as long as you get it done because these are issues that God will not compromise with and will show no mercy as it relates to. Not a few of them need to be corrected, but all of them.


Because if not you wont have anything or anyone left to correct. He is staying his hand now giving you an opportunity to right your wrongs.Please be about the business of righting those wrongs while you are still able.If he sees you are taking heed and working he will be patient, but if he feels you are disregarding his instruction and behaving proudly in his sight, he will get back to work as it relates to punishing the nation for it’s abominable sins.We may at times lose sight of who wields the real power, and who is really in charge, it happens to the best of us, but God has a way of grounding us and bringing us back to reality and letting us know who is really in charge and wields the real power.


 This biblical verse below has duel meaning it applied to Israel and Judah anciently and it applies today.The term burning incense to other God’s is symbolic of  worshiping or idolizing things that are not God. Like for instance money,lust,etc. Enslavement to and love of these things to the point that you will do all manner of evil to satisfy these things or acquire them, are symbolic of, or the equivalent in God’s eyes of worshiping other God’s, and or burning incense to other God’s.The reference to cutting off men, women,children and sucklings,  is in relation to the destruction of  men,women, adolescents, preteens and infants. 


God’s true Prophets have always vehemently spoken out against abominations. Which are the more serious sins and offenses. If any self proclaimed Prophet is not speaking out against the things that greatly anger God that is another red flag, and another example they are not speaking on behalf of God!




Jeremiah 44:4-7

King James Version (KJV)

4 Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.

5 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.

6 Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.

7 Therefore now thus saith the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; Wherefore commit ye this great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and suckling, out of Judah, to leave you none to remain;




Ezekiel 14:13
King James Version (KJV)

13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it







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In this Oct. 5, 2016 photo, Hemlock woolly adelgids on hemlock tree needles are seen through a microscope at a lab in Petersham, Mass. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap and eventually killing the tree. The aphid-like bug is part of an expanding army of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


© The Associated Press In this Oct. 5, 2016 photo, Hemlock woolly adelgids on hemlock tree needles are seen through a microscope at a lab in Petersham, Mass. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemloc…While all 50 states have been attacked by pests, experts say forests in the Northeast, California, Colorado and parts of the Midwest, North Carolina and Florida are especially at risk. Forests in some states, like New York, are close to major trade routes, while others, like in Florida, house trees especially susceptible to pests. Others, like New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine, are experiencing record warming.


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PETERSHAM, Mass. — In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it’s easy to miss one of the tree’s nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree.


The bug is one in an expanding army of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by drought-weakened trees, the invaders have become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the United States.


Scientists say they already are driving some tree species toward extinction and are causing billions of dollars a year in damage — and the situation is expected to worsen.

“They are one of the few things that can actually eliminate a forest tree species in pretty short order — within years,” said Harvard University ecologist David Orwig as he walked past dead hemlocks scattered across the university’s 5.8-square-mile research forest in Petersham.


This scourge is projected to put 63 percent of the country’s forest at risk through 2027 and carries a cost of several billion dollars annually in dead tree removal, declining property values and timber industry losses, according to a peer-reviewed study this year in Ecological Applications.


That examination, by more than a dozen experts, found that hundreds of pests have invaded the nation’s forests, and that the emerald ash borer alone has the potential to cause $12.7 billion in damage by 2020.


Insect pests, some native and others from as far away as Asia, can undermine forest ecosystems. For example, scientists say, several species of hemlock and almost 20 species of ash could nearly go extinct in the coming decades. Such destruction would do away with shelter for birds and insects and food sources for bears and other animals. Dead forests also can increase the danger of catastrophic wildfires.


Today’s connected world enables foreign invaders to cross oceans in packing materials or on garden plants, and then reach American forests. Once here, they have rapidly expanded their ranges.



“The primary driver of the invasive pest problem is globalization, which includes increased trade and travel,” Andrew Liebhold, a Forest Service research entomologist in West Virginia.


The emerald ash borer, first found in 2002 in Michigan, is now in 30 states and has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees. The gypsy moth, discovered in 1869 in Boston, is now found in 20 states and has reached the northern Great Lakes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Native bark beetles have taken advantage of drought conditions and a long western drought to rapidly range from Mexico into Canada. An outbreak in Colorado spread across 3.4 million acres of forest from 1996 to 2013, according to the Forest Service, and in California 100 million-plus trees have died in the Sierra Nevada since 2010.


Though small, bugs can easily overwhelm big trees with sheer numbers.

“They drain the resin that otherwise defends the tree,” said Matt Ayres, a Dartmouth College ecologist who worked on the Ecological Applications study. “Then, the tree is toast.”


Forest pests in the era of drought are especially concerning for timberland owners, said Jasen Stock, executive director of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association.

“We’re dealing with pests we’ve never been around before, never had to manage around before,” Stock said. “It’s something we’re going to be dealing with forever.”


Urban forests, too, are at risk from outbreaks. In Worcester, Massachusetts, a city of about 180,000, an Asian longhorned beetle infestation in 2008 resulted in the removal of 31,000 trees.

“You would leave for work with a tree-lined street, and you come back and there was not a tree in sight,” recalled Ruth Seward, executive director of the nonprofit Worchester Tree Initiative. Most trees have since been replaced.


Though trees can die off quickly, the impact of pests on a forest ecosystem can take decades to play out. Dead hemlocks, for example, are giving way to black birch and other hardwoods. Gone are favorite nesting spots for two types of warblers, as well as the bark that red squirrels love to eat, Harvard’s Orwig said. The birds won’t die off, he said, but their ranges will be restricted.


“It’s a great example of how one species can make a difference in the forest,” Orwig said.

As pests proliferate, scientists seek to contain them.

Among the methods are bio controls, in which bugs that feed upon pests in their native lands are introduced here. Of the 30 states with emerald ash borer outbreaks, the USDA says 24 have released wasp species to combat them. Some scientists worry about introducing another pest; others complain they aren’t effective because they can’t eat enough of the fast-breeding pests to make a difference.


“With all bio controls, the hope is to create balance — balance between predator and prey,” said Ken Gooch, forest health program director for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.


An alternative strategy, also a slow one, is to plant trees 50 or 100 miles away from their normal range so they can escape pests, or adapt to a more favorable climate, said Steven Strauss, a professor of forest biotechnology at Oregon State University.


“Mother Nature knows best,” he said. “It’s assisted migration.”


To stop the next pest from entering the country, researchers like Gary M. Lovett, of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York, propose measures such as switching from solid wood shipping material that can harbor insects and restricting shrub and tree imports.


Nonetheless, Lovett said new pests are inevitable.


Whittle reported from Portland, Maine. Associated Press writer Michael Hill in Syracuse, New York, contributed to this report.



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