MANHATTAN — A public hearing will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, to consider the issuance of a permanent quarantine regarding emerald ash borer.
The proposed quarantine would expand the current permanent quarantine to include Jackson and Miami counties. The hearing will be held at the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), located at 1320 Research Park Dr. in Manhattan, according to a KDA news release.
The proposed quarantine would prohibit movement of regulated items, primarily wood and wood products of the genus Fraxinus (Ash), from the quarantined area, except under specific conditions. In addition, the quarantine would require anyone who discovers emerald ash borer in an area not currently under quarantine to report the discovery to KDA within 72 hours, according to the release.
The proposed quarantine, including a full list of regulated items that would be included in the quarantine, can be found at the KDA website at agriculture.ks.gov/ProposedRegs. Comments can be submitted prior to the hearing at that webpage as well, according to the release.
All interested persons may attend the hearing and will be given the opportunity to express comments either orally or in writing, or both. Interested parties may appear in person or by counsel. Persons who require special accommodations must make their needs known at least five days prior to the hearing, according to the release.
For more information, including requests for special accommodations or a copy of the quarantine, contact Ronda Hutton at (785) 564-6715.
In October 2019, the KDA, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Miami County.
On Oct. 15, KDA officials removed emerald ash borer larvae from a girdled tree trap in Spring Hill in Miami County in cooperation with the city of Spring Hill, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-APHIS-PPQ), and the Kansas Forest Service.
KDA officials sent the specimens to a USDA-APHIS-PPQ laboratory, which confirmed KDA’s findings on Oct. 16.
Emerald ash borer, a pest of ash trees native to Asia, was first discovered in North America near Detroit, Mich., in summer 2002. Since that time, the pest has killed millions of ash trees across the U.S.
It was first identified in Kansas in 2012 and has been identified in several counties in northeast Kansas in the last seven years, according to the release.
Trees become infested with emerald ash borer when adult beetles lay eggs on the bark, which hatch into larvae that bore tunnels into the tree.