DEC Confirms First Case of Invasive Emerald Ash Borer in Adirondack Park
Officials with New York's Department of Environmental Conservation have confirmed the first case of an emerald ash borer in Warren County.
The invasive species has been found in other parts of New York, and given its spread, DEC officials were not surprised that it was found in Adirondack Park. According to the DEC, "EAB is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American native ash species." The insect larvae disrupt the transport of water and nutrients throughout the tree, killing it within a few years.
"It's very sad to hear that the emerald ash borer has reached Warren County," Frank Thomas, Stony Creek Supervisor and Chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, said in a press release on Tuesday. "The spread of this invasive will be absolutely devastating to our ash trees and substantially degrade our beautiful forests."
Ash trees currently represent about seven percent of the trees in New York State, and have even less of a presence in the Adirondacks. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said that while this recent find of EAB in Warren County is concerning, it will also push New York State officials to work harder to protect these natural resources from invasive species.
"DEC and our partners will continue our significant investments in finding strategies that mitigate and address invasive species in our environment and raise public awareness so that all New Yorkers can take part in helping to protect the Adirondacks and our entire state," Seggos said.
So what can New Yorkers do to help prevent the spread of these destructive insects? You can start by being able to identify EAB. Adults are usually 3/8 to 5/8 inches long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. They can usually be spotted from late May to early September, but are most common in June and July.
New Yorkers can also do their part by using local firewood instead of transporting it from other regions. Tammara Van Ryn, the manager of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, said emerald ash borers can often be found in firewood.
If you think you find EAB in New York, the DEC asks that you report it to the agency right away. You can email photos of any invasive species to the DEC's Forest Health Diagnostic Laboratory at email@example.com.
Read more about EAB and its first confirmed sighting in the Adirondacks through the DEC's website.
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