Douglas County praises pest manager who rounded up Inslee’s errant apples

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An apple brought to Omak by Gov. Jay Inslee last month showed signs of apple maggot infestation. Hunting down the diseased apples became a task for Chelan-Douglas pest manager Will Carpenter.

WATERVILLE — Douglas County commissioners say Will Carpenter deserves a pat on the back.

The commissioners on Monday issued a formal letter thanking Carpenter, director of the Chelan-Douglas Horticultural Pest and Disease Board, for tracking down maggot-infested apples brought to the county by Gov. Jay Inslee in September.

Inslee bestowed the apples as gifts to fire victims in the Bridgeport area, violating the state’s own apple maggot quarantine rules. A number of apples retrieved by Carpenter, after it was learned Inslee had brought the fruit from Thurston County, showed evidence of maggots.

Carpenter managed to round up all known samples of the errant fruit, before its infestation could spread to Douglas County orchards.

Inslee brought the apples from the trees at the Governor’s Mansion as a gesture of goodwill, but later apologized for the mistake, and offered donations to local food banks as a mea culpa.

The commissioners’ letter praised Carpenter as “dependable, diligent, reliable, conscientious and tirelessly dedicated to helping protect our agricultural industry and the citizens of Douglas County.”