GOVERNOR PROCLAIMS EMERALD ASH BORER AWARENESS WEEK

BISMARCK – Gov. Jack Dalrymple has proclaimed May 22-28 as North Dakota Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, urging North Dakotans to learn what they can do to prevent the introduction of an insect that could devastate the state's tree population.

"Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is an opportunity to pursue public and private partnerships to encourage environmental stewardship throughout the state” the governor said.

“The emerald ash borer (EAB) has spread across more than a dozen states, killing tens of millions of ash trees,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Now that it has reached Minnesota, it is more important than ever for North Dakota to take action to prevent it from coming here.”

State Forester Larry Kotchman said that it is up to citizens, as well as government agencies, to prevent EAB from entering North Dakota.

“EAB spreads slowly on its own, but it can be moved long distances in firewood and ash nursery stock,” Kotchman said. “Please buy your firewood from local sources, and if you are coming from out of the state, please don't bring firewood with you.”

It is a federal offense to move uncertified firewood out of the areas under quarantine for EAB.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA), the North Dakota Forest Service (NDFS), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-APHIS) and city foresters in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Mandan and West Fargo have placed 250 EAB traps in cities, state parks, recreation areas, campgrounds, rest stops, county fairgrounds and ports of entry.

The two-foot-long, three-sided, purple traps are baited with a lure attractive to emerald ash borers. The traps will be monitored through July during the adult flight period.

“If you come across one of these traps, please leave it alone,” Goehring said.

The survey is part of nationwide effort involving 49 states.

EAB only attacks ash trees. The larvae feed under the bark and disrupting the movement of water and nutrients and killing the tree within several years. Many millions of ash trees have been killed wherever the insect has been detected.

More information about EAB is available on the NDDA website at http://www.nd.gov/ndda.

North Dakota has approximately 78 million ash trees and ash is one of the primary trees species in many North Dakota communities as well as in rural plantings and native forest areas.

EAB Awareness Week has been organized by the North Dakota EAB Response Committee, including NDDA, NDFS, the North Dakota State University Extension Service, North Dakota Urban and Community Forestry Association, North Dakota Parks and Recreation, North Dakota Game and Fish Department and USDA-APHIS with funding from the USDA Forest Service.