Monday, March 16, 2015

Nebraska Preparing for Incoming Emerald Ash Borer

As emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is marching its way across the U.S. and due to wide reporting of new locations, communities in the path can plan for its arrival.  Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri, states which border Nebraska and ash trees comprising 40% of the state's public trees, it's only a matter of time before the invasion begins.

Nebraska Forest Service estimates that it will EAB will cost Nebraska $270 million for state and local governments and $690 million for the private sector, for a total of $960 million for tree removal, disposal, and replacement.  A monitoring network is already in place for surveying for EAB and while currently none have been discovered, communities have also begun to map ash trees and mark areas of priority.  Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks has proposed Legislative Bill 461, a bill to set aside money, $3 million annually where money would be provided to local governments as matching grants on a 50-50 basis, to help local communities remove and dispose of ash trees, as well as replace the lost trees.  A community hearing on the bill will occur on March 19.

emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) by Jared Spokowsky, Indiana Department of Natural Resources,

For more information about the preparations: It's inevitable: Invasive pest will arrive in Nebraska, kill ash trees, costing an estimated $960M