Don’t move firewood

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced its participation in National Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Awareness Week, which ran through Saturday, May 28.  EAB Awareness Week is an educational campaign to draw attention to the devastating effects this invasive species has had in Michigan and in the national landscape. As part of EAB Awareness Week, MDARD is asking residents to honor the quarantines that are in place, which make the transport of hardwood firewood off-limits to the Upper Peninsula or out of quarantined areas, to help curtail the artificial spread of EAB and prevent the accidental introduction or spread of some other potentially devastating forest pests such as oak wilt, Asian longhorned beetle, beech bark disease, thousand cankers disease and gypsy moth.

MDARD, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Michigan State University, as well as other local, state, federal and private partnerships, are working together to protect the millions of ash trees found in the United States.

MDARD, in cooperation with local conservation districts, will deploy more than 2,000 purple sticky traps to act as EAB detection tools. The purple traps have a special bait to lure the borer and are extremely sticky on the outside so the beetle can’t fly away once it lands. The traps will placed in counties west of, and including, Marquette and Menominee in the Upper Peninsula. Additional delimiting trapping efforts will take place in, and around, Calumet/Laurum, Moran, Munising and St. Ignace.

Michigan residents and visitors are urged to learn about EAB and adhere to the State’s quarantine banning the transport of not only hardwood firewood but also ash trees, ash logs and lumber with bark, and hardwood wood chips greater than one inch in diameter from quarantined areas. Quarantine violators face fines/penalties ranging from $1,000 up to $250,000 and face up to five years in jail if found guilty of transporting hardwood firewood out of the quarantine zones or from the Lower Peninsula into the Upper Peninsula or surrounding states.

With EAB currently known to be infesting ash trees in every county in the Lower Peninsula, residents are reminded that spring is one of the best times to have their ash trees treated with insecticides.

Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic insect native to Asia that attacks ash trees in its larval stage; EAB feeds undetected under the bark of ash trees, disrupting water and nutrient flow, and ultimately killing the trees in just a few years. First discovered in 2002, the borer is responsible for the death or damage of approximately 30 million ash trees in Michigan.

For more information on the Michigan EAB quarantine, please visit www.michigan.gov/eab or www.emeraldashborer.info.