Because this process makes the tree a Transgenic Organism (a GMO) the University must apply to the USDA (and the EPA and FDA) for approval for Non-Regulated Status for the tree, to allow it to be grown outside of carefully contained test gardens. This tree just might be the most intensely studied tree in history and it's been determined to be safe, and it reacts in every way just like an American Chestnut, because it IS an American Chestnut with the full compliment of American Chestnut genes, plus 1 from wheat.
SUNY ESF did not patent this process, which assures that there is no profit motive, and demonstrates that their intentions are pure: to save the American Chestnut tree from extinction.
There is a Public Comment period on this application until October 19, 2020 in case anyone would like to submit an opinion, hopefully one in favor of approving the Petition for Non-Regulated Status for this tree.
What's this have to do with bow hunting you might ask, well imagine a tree, more prevalent than all the oaks, producing more mast than oaks, that bears every year, and its nuts are tastier to deer ( and humans) than acorns. I'm thinking that pigs, deer squirrels and bears that eat chestnuts will be far better eating than those that eat acorns too! Oh, and the wood is rot resistant and way lighter than other hardwoods of the same strength.
Some information to read:
One Page Summary of the Transgenic Tree: https://www.acf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/web3-transgenic-tree.pdf
Using Science to Save the American Chestnut: https://www.acf.org/science-strategies/3bur/
FAQ on the Application: https://www.acf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/web3-faqs.pdf
To submit a comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/08/19/2020-18135/state-university-of-new-york-college-of-environmental-science-and-forestry-petition-for#open-comment
Happy to discuss this further or to provide additional info.
And yes, similar techniques just might be able to help save the Ash trees, the Elm and others.
Catscratch, there are definitely people growing Chestnuts in KS, in fact pretty much anywhere you have acidic soil and enough rainfall, you'll probably be good to go.
By the way, that picture I posted above is a Chinese-American hybrid tree I found here in CT. I do have 7 pure America seedlings growing that someday soon I hope to cross with Transgenic trees (or their pollen) when it gets approved. The expectation is that half of the resulting trees will be blight tolerant.