For immediate release: September 27, 2018
Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724
LANSING, MI - Effective October 1, 2018, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) repeals its Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Interior Quarantine. The tree-killing pest has been found in all but four of Michigan’s 83 counties.
“Enacted in 2002, Michigan’s quarantine helped to slow the spread of EAB giving communities, land owners and managers the time to plan ahead of an EAB infestation to ensure diversity of their tree landscape,” said Gina Alessandri, director of MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. “I appreciate the partnership of local, state, and federal agencies, travelers, residents, the research community and many others who did their best to try and stop EAB. But, based upon research, it’s likely it was in Michigan 10-15 years before it was even identified.”
EAB was first identified in North America in southeast Michigan in 2002. Since then it has been detected in 35 states, the District of Columbia and five Canadian provinces and most likely came to the U.S. from Asia in solid wood packing materials.
Until now, Michigan’s interior quarantine regulated the movement of ash trees, ash logs, other ash tree parts and hardwood firewood from the Lower Peninsula into the Upper Peninsula, from the quarantined counties of the U.P. into the non-quarantined counties of the U.P., and from anywhere in Michigan to several Great Lakes islands.
The EAB interior quarantine meant businesses and individuals handling ash wood, untreated ash products and hardwood firewood had to sign agreements with MDARD on how they would reduce the risk of moving the pest into non-quarantined areas. Without the quarantine in effect, ash logs, ash lumber and hardwood firewood can be moved within Michigan.
It’s important to note that the federal quarantine remains in place. Businesses or travelers moving articles regulated by the federal EAB quarantine out of Michigan must continue to work with the United States Department of Agriculture to meet interstate requirements.
Firewood restrictions can still be enforced on private, state and federal lands. Campers and others are encouraged to know what rules are in place at their destinations before assuming they can take firewood there. The best course of action is to obtain firewood near campgrounds, cabins or other destinations where the wood will be burned, and to not take unused firewood home.
“MDARD is still asking people not to move firewood as it can carry other pests and diseases such as oak wilt to new areas, or even new pests or diseases that we are not even aware of yet,” Alessandri said.
Looking for more information on invasive pests, diseases, and more? Please visit Michigan’s invasive species website at https://www.michigan.gov/invasives to learn how you can help protect the state’s natural resources.
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