From Mike Groenewold:
As many of you may know, I am the Game and Parks’ messenger for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) awareness. EAB is a serious, invasive pest that will impact our forest and landscape resources when it is discovered in the state. Most of the resource professionals that I work with on the state wide EAB working group feel it is only a matter of time before it is confirmed in our state. Facing that possible reality, we are working to develop methods to keep it out of Nebraska for as long as possible and slow its spread once discovered. Luckily, EAB has not yet appeared in Nebraska and during 2010 it was not discovered west of infestations discovered during 2009 in Northwest Iowa or during 2008 in Southeast Missouri.
For now, we feel education about the bug and how it travels is the most important thing we can do. This week, May 23-May 30, was EAB awareness week. The campaign message again for this year was “Burn it where you buy it,” which hopefully encourages our park users to purchase or gather firewood locally and burn it up before leaving for home.
Professionals know that firewood can harbor the invasive EAB larvae and the bug can travel long distances in short order as firewood is moved around the country; firewood can also harbor many other potentially invasive insects.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will participate for a third year in the National EAB survey. During 2011, NDA and USDA staff will work jointly to set and monitor 200 survey traps at campgrounds, parks, rest areas, nurseries and woodland sites considered at high risk for EAB introductions. Traps, set mid April to mid May, will be monitored throughout the flight season, before being taken down in August. You may see one of these purple, box style traps at your favorite park or recreation area this season.