MONTPELIER – As part of the ongoing response to the recent discovery of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) within the state, Vermont has joined the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s 31-state quarantine boundary. The quarantine will help reduce the movement of infested ash wood to un-infested regions outside of Vermont’s borders. Ash wood may not be moved from Vermont to Maine, Rhode Island, or 5 counties in New Hampshire because the pest has not been identified in these states and counties. Vermont will be directing available resources to protect state forest health by providing Vermonters with low-risk options for use and disposal of wood that is already infested.
“The areas where EAB has already been found in Vermont pose the greatest risk to the health of our forests,” says Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder. “Based on science and our learning from strategies used in other states, we are choosing to focus on outreach and education in a collaborative approach to seriously limit further spread of the insect within Vermont.”
Vermont is developing a series of slow-the-spread recommendations, initially including recommendations for handling logs, firewood, and other ash materials. Examples of these first recommendations include:
- Limiting movement of ash material to locations within the infested area,
- Transporting logs during EAB’s dormant period,
- Chipping infested materials so EAB cannot survive.
As a first step in communicating the recommendations, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is contacting people who work in Vermont’s forest economy to provide information about where ash trees are likely to be infested, and how to best handle and transport material from those areas.
The State of Vermont already has a firewood quarantine in place to help prevent the introduction of damaging forest pests by prohibiting untreated firewood from entering the state. This firewood quarantine remains in effect.
In 16 years since first being detected in Michigan, EAB has been discovered in 31 additional states. To learn more about these recommendations, to see a map indicating where EAB is known to occur in Vermont, and to report suspected invasive species like EAB, visit vtinvasives.org. Vermonters are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms of EAB and keep an eye out for the beetle. Report suspicious findings on vtinvasives.org.