ST. PAUL – Following the Minnesota Department of Agriculture announcement that the emerald ash borer (EAB) has been discovered in Houston County, State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said the Legislature continues to search for ways to prevent the pests from spreading further into Minnesota.
“Since discovering the emerald ash borer in Wisconsin last spring, I’ve worked closely with the ag department to implement the appropriate quarantines of ash movement in the state, and particularly in nearby counties,” Davids said. “While I believe this has helped, it’s clear that there’s much more work to be done.”
Davids said the adult insects nibble on ash foliage and cause little damage, but their larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Since the 2002 discovery of the emerald ash borer in Michigan, tens of millions of trees have been killed across the United States.
As the Republican Lead of the Cultural Heritage Finance Division, which oversees the programs receiving funding from our recent 3/8 cent sales tax increase, Rep. Davids also helped create the Forest Protection Reserve. This funding provided grants to Minnesota communities to help develop EAB emergency preparedness and response plans, as well as to those communities which already have EAB discoveries.
“Early detection and eradication are the keys to stopping the emerald ash borer infestations,” Davids said. “Here at the Legislature, I can promise you lawmakers are doing everything they can to search for ways to contain this dangerous pest.”
Davids said Minnesotans can also help keep the EAB from spreading by not transporting firewood, being aware of any quarantine restrictions, and watching for signs of infestation in your ash trees.