|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 16, 2016
MDA proposes expanding EAB quarantine in northeastern Minnesota
New comment period runs through January 15, 2017
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is recommending an expansion of a proposed emerald ash borer (EAB) quarantine in northeast Minnesota that would include portions of St. Louis and Carlton counties.
In September, the MDA implemented an emergency quarantine for southeastern St. Louis County after a second EAB infestation was discovered in the city of Duluth. After reviewing comments on the proposal to formally adopt that quarantine, the MDA is now recommending the northeastern corner of Carlton County be included with the originally proposed portion of St. Louis County. The MDA will take comments on the expanded quarantine through January 15, 2017.
The new proposal includes the portion of Carlton County from Minnesota Highway 33 on the west, Interstate 35 on the south, and the St. Louis County line on the north and east. (See map)
“Because of the comments received, the MDA did some further study of the situation in northeastern Minnesota,” said Geir Friisoe, Director of MDA’s Plant Protection Division. “Based on the locations of the EAB finds in St Louis County, we now feel it is necessary to include part of Carlton County in the quarantine. This quarantine will help serve in the best interest of our natural environment and commerce.”
EAB quarantines limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the quarantined area. This reduces the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect. Under this proposal, 15 of Minnesota’s 87 counties would be fully or partially quarantined for the invasive insect.
Information on the new proposed quarantine can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/eab. Comments can be made by contacting:
Kimberly Thielen Cremers
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155
Emerald ash borer larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. Minnesota is highly susceptible to the destruction caused by this invasive insect. The state has approximately one billion ash trees, the most of any state in the nation. For more information on emerald ash borer, go to www.mda.state.mn.us/eab.
Source: Minnesota Department of Agriculture