The state plans to propose a new revision to its Emerald Ash Borer quarantine order to add areas south of the state Thruway and east of the state border, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens announced today.
EAB is an exotic insect that kills ash trees in entire areas or communities where the insect has become established. The proposed revision would exclude Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties as well as New York City.
“DEC will continue its efforts to assist communities and landowners prepare for, mitigate and respond to the impacts of EAB’s spread across the state,” Martens said in a statement. “Ongoing outreach and education are key in these efforts and will continue to be a focus in slowing the spread of EAB.”
The quarantine expansion would include 22 counties and the proposed regulations would take effect on May 1 if approved. EAB can be found in 18 states and was first discovered in the U.S. in 2002.
EAB that have traveled long distances most likely moved with ash firewood or ash nursery stock, the DEC said. Ash trees compromise about 8 percent of all trees in the state and forest-based manufacturing contributes over $9 billion to the economy.
“This configuration will assist in our efforts to slow the movement of EAB while mitigating some of the economic issues created by the prior quarantine configuration.” said Darrel Aubertine, commissioner of the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, who is also helping to expand the EAB quarantine.
In 2008 the state enforced a ban on untreated firewood entering the state and restricted movement of firewood by limiting travel within a 50-mile radius. The DEC said individuals should watch for signs of EAB infestation to help curb the issue statewide.
Individuals can report an EAB infestation by visiting http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/72136.html. To learn more about EAB, firewood regulations and precautions to help limit the spread of the population visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html