New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis last week announced the discovery of an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation in Randolph, Cattaraugus County, New York.
The Nature Conservancy released the following statement from Troy Weldy, director of ecological management:
“The emerald ash borer will have significant economic and environmental impacts, the likes of which western New York hasn't seen since the chestnut blight or Dutch elm disease. This pest damages and can kill the ash trees it infects. With more than half a billion ash trees in New York, these species are highly important to the natural landscape.
This discovery emphasizes the need to establish a national early detection network around major ports of entry so we can intercept these pests before they become established. The better we are at finding these pests before they become well-established, the greater success we will have at limiting their destruction.
In addition, for the first time in 80 years, the USDA is revising its regulations to prevent new invasive pests and pathogens from arriving on live plants. Moving this regulation, known as Q-37, to the front of the bureaucratic line is a critical step in protecting our nation from invasive plants and animals.
It is also important for citizens to understand that these pests are easily transported in firewood. We ask everyone to do their part by only burning wood close to where they buy it.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.