Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Emerald ash borer prevention

Published (4/10/2009)
By Sue Hegarty
Share on: 

A beetle that has the potential to wipe out millions of ash trees has been found within 1 mile of Minnesota’s border. Discovery of the emerald ash borer beetle in Victory, Wis., prompted quick action by the Department of Agriculture and proposed legislation to stop it before it crosses state lines.

Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL-Mpls) sponsors HF2262, a forest protection bill that, among other things, would appropriate $1.5 million from the General Fund for the early detection of invasive tree pests and another $125,000 to develop a response plan in case the little green bugs are found in the state.

The House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division held the bill over April 7 for possible omnibus bill inclusion. There is no Senate companion.

Geir Friisoe, plant protection division director for the Department of Agriculture, said federal resources may be available for surveillance and detection, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not fund eradication efforts. Friisoe said Michigan has spent up to $50 million to get rid of the beetle but without success.

The devastating bug, in its larvae stage, begins boring beneath the bark of ash trees and filling the cavities that carry water and nutrients through the tree. Treatment of infected trees includes injections with insecticide, and recent research suggests the use of wasps as a biological solution to the problem, Friisoe said.

Bob Fitch, executive director of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association, said Minnesota has a response plan in place and the readiness task force has “kicked in.” Fitch said the immediate need is to fund public education to inform residents and visitors about the potential for harm. Ash trees would be quarantined within the county where the beetles are discovered and the trees would most likely have to be destroyed. There are an estimated 900 million ash trees in the state. As campgrounds prepare to open, one way to avoid the spread of the emerald ash borer is not to transport firewood from one area of the state to another for campfires.

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

Doling out resources
Omnibus environment and natural resources law also contains energy provisions
(view full story) Published 6/1/2010

Definitions matter
Language for environment and energy spending called into question
(view full story) Published 5/13/2010

Supplant or supplement?
Some think constitutionally dedicated funds may be filling traditional funding void
(view full story) Published 4/29/2010

Sinking the law on sunken timber
DNR intends to let sleeping logs lie
(view full story) Published 4/29/2010

Minnesota Index: Earth, wind and fire
Figures and statistics on Earth Day and the environment
(view full story) Published 4/15/2010

Minnesota Index: Quality of life
Figures and statistics on Minnesota's quality of life
(view full story) Published 3/25/2010

Talkin’ trash
PCA discovers interpreting the letter of the law isn’t easy
(view full story) Published 3/18/2010

Land wHOa!
Audit suggests DNR has more land than they can manage
(view full story) Published 3/11/2010

Safe Drug Disposal Act
Leftover drugs find their way to fish and teens
(view full story) Published 2/11/2010

At Issue: Money for outdoors, arts gets green light
Legacy bill passes but still needs work
(view full story) Published 5/29/2009

At Issue: Unearthing the state’s past
Legacy bill moves through final process quickly, awaits floor action
(view full story) Published 5/8/2009

At Issue: Funding environment and energy
Conferees make additional spending cuts
(view full story) Published 5/8/2009

First Reading: Wildfire in slow motion
Emerald ash borer ignites prevention policies
(view full story) Published 5/1/2009

At Issue: Animal, vegetable, mineral … or chemical?
Toxic Free Kids Act survives House floor omnibus debate
(view full story) Published 4/24/2009

At Issue: Control-alt-delete
Electronic waste collections called ‘too successful’
(view full story) Published 4/10/2009

Minnesota Index: Extreme weather
Figures and statistics on weather records in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 4/10/2009

At Issue: Spending new proceeds
Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council considers projects for new tax receipts
(view full story) Published 2/6/2009