The Public Comment Period Closed on Monday, October 19, 2020

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Thank you to all who participated

Petition for Determination of Non-regulated Status: State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Blight-Resistant Darling 58 American Chestnut  (APHIS-2020-0030)

View a brief overview of the project here.

The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) is leading an unprecedented mission to restore the American chestnut tree to its native range. By employing complementary methods of traditional Breeding, Biotechnology and Biocontrol, TACF works to create a disease tolerant and genetically diverse population of American chestnut. Working in close collaboration with TACF, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) leads the biotechnology research and testing efforts. This method has proven to be one of the most successful for generating blight-tolerant American chestnut trees, known as Darling 58, that retain their full complement of traits for adaptation and ecosystem services in our forests. It is imperative, however, that these trees are bred with wild-type American chestnut trees to diversify the population and provide regional adaptation.

Because genetically engineered plants must be approved for use by federal agencies, ESF has filed a “Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status for Blight-Tolerant Darling 58 American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)” with the United States Department of Agriculture’s office of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). Approval of the petition is a critical step toward planting this blight-tolerant transgenic tree in unrestricted areas as part of restoration programs.

Public comments play an important role in the review process of USDA-APHIS. Participation in the public comment period is a groundbreaking opportunity to save the American chestnut. Below are some tools and templates to assist you throughout the public comment period.


Guidelines and Tools for the Public Comment Period Process

This is a dynamic page. Content will be regularly updated between now and potential deregulation.  Please check back often.

Documents and Links Supporting the Public Comment Period Process: