Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Emerald Ash Borer found in Western Wisconsin

Date: April 7, 2009
Mick Skwarok (DATCP) (Office: 608-224-4745 Cell: 608-219-1492)
Bob Manwell (DNR) (Office: 608-264-9248 Cell: 608-209-8148)

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Vernon County; Area Quarantine Imminent

Madison – Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection and the Department of Natural Resources today announced that the emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Vernon County. The tiny, invasive beetle, whose larva destroys North American ash trees, was discovered in Victory, a small community along the banks of the Mississippi River, about 20 miles south of La Crosse. State officials were made aware of the infestation by an observant property owner.

Vernon County becomes the third infested county in Wisconsin. EAB was discovered in
Ozaukee and Washington counties last summer. “The presence of EAB in Vernon County was confirmed for us Monday morning. Our agency, in concert with other state and federal partners, is now working out the details of surveying the area and learning more about the age and extent of the infestation,” said Rod Nilsestuen, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). “Our staff and federal partners have already visited the area and additional assessments will take place in the coming days to gather information that will help us develop a response plan to this new infestation.”

Because of the proximity to property managed by state and federal entities, and the short distance to counties in Iowa and Minnesota, developing an area-specific response plan will be a
coordinated effort with multiple partners. “We will work closely with DATCP and our neighboring states as we investigate the extent of this new infestation,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank. “Invasive species like emerald ash borer don't recognize borders. Working cooperatively we stand a much better chance of limiting our losses and addressing any new sources of infestation.”

Agriculture and natural resources representatives from Minnesota and Iowa will tour the Victory infestation with Wisconsin officials later this week.


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