Friday, July 23, 2010

Emerald Ash Borer Alert!

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has announced two new invasion sites of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) on private properties in Bath, NY (Steuben County) and Saugerties, NY (Ulster County).  These two locations are in addition to the original detection site in the town of Randolph, NY (Cattaraugus County) found in June 2009.

Marianne Prue, Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Forestry,
The Steuben County location was discovered on July 12, 2010 and the Ulster County location on July 15, 2010.  Both sites have been monitored consistently by NYSDEC and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), respectively, since the initial NY invasion in June 2009.  The EAB is monitored by the use of nearly 7,500 EAB purple traps hoisted into ash trees in various high-risk locations.  In the lastest discovery, one EAB was located in a single trap in each location.  

Map showing EAB has been found in Cattaraugus, Steuben, Livingston, Monroe, Genesee, Ulster and Greene Counties.
In the NYSDEC press release, DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis is quoted:
"DEC, the landowners, and our federal, state and local partners will work closely to study the extent of EAB's presence in the newly-confirmed area and take the appropriate steps to protect the state's ash resources. We have reason to believe that the movement of EAB to these new areas was due to the movement of firewood, and as summer is now in full swing, we again remind campers throughout the state that they too can help prevent the spread of harmful invasives by not hauling firewood to campgrounds and instead buying firewood locally."

The press release goes on to say:
"Since its discovery in southeastern Michigan in 2002, the EAB is responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees in the U.S. Today the beetle has been detected in 14 states and two neighboring Canadian provinces. The primary way this insect spreads is when firewood and wood products are moved from one place to another. Many of New York State's forests and parklands are high-risk areas due to firewood movement."

This is a very pressing matter and an issue more of the public needs to take note of, even here in southern NY.  The majority of the Hudson Valley is forested, and the spread of this little insect puts many of our natural resources and wild places at risk of severe degradation.  The Saugerties location is a mere 80 miles from Westmoreland's location near Mt.Kisco, NY.

To read the entire press release, for more information about the EAB invasion, and to learn how you can help in the detection and prevention of this harmful forest pest, please click on any of the above links.

-Adam Zorn, Naturalist

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