Don’t move firewood out of the lower peninsula

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) today announced its participation in National Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Awareness Week, which began yesterday and runs through Saturday, May 28, 2011.  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.

Michigan also will be participating in the national 2011 EAB survey – a collaborative effort between the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and 49 other state departments of agriculture or natural resources to look for EAB.

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. You can also follow the national EAB efforts at www.facebook.com/stopthebeetle or www.twitter.com/stopthebeetle.