St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) recently formalized a new emerald ash borer (EAB) quarantine for parts of the state. Last summer EAB was discovered in Winona County, making it necessary to update the quarantine. Through the regulatory process, an emergency quarantine was put in place until comments from the public could be received. Staff took those comments into consideration and the updated quarantine was then signed and made official by MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson. The new formal quarantine includes Winona, Hennepin, Houston, and Ramsey counties.
Any material that might contain EAB, such as firewood, ash logs, ash bark chips, etc., is consider a “regulated article” and cannot be moved out of an emerald ash borer quarantine. The only way to move these regulated articles out of an EAB quarantine is to receive a compliance agreement with the MDA and treat the material so there is no risk of spreading EAB.
“It is important that government and the private sector are working together to slow the spread of this and other invasive pests that harm our environment and economy,” said Geir Friisoe, MDA’s Plant Protection Division Director. “We try allow businesses to operate as normal as possible while protecting the state from the threat of emerald ash borer.”
EAB is one of America’s most destructive tree pests. Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and feeding on the tree’s nutrients. Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 15 states. The metallic-green adult beetles are a half-inch long, and are active from May to September. Infestation signs include one-eighth inch, D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and winding tunnels under the bark. The biggest risk of spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving firewood or other ash products harboring larvae.
The quarantine gives MDA the authority to take action against any company or individual violating the quarantine. Details of the quarantine can be found online at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab/eabquarantine.aspx.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org