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USDA Reminds Public: Don’t Move Wood Out of Areas Quarantined for Asian Longhorned Beetle

Contact:
Rhonda Santos, (508) 852-8044
Rhonda.J.Santos@aphis.usda.gov

Suzanne Bond (301) 851-4070
Suzanne.M.Bond@aphis.usda.gov

Washington D.C., November 13, 2018— As winter approaches, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reminding the public not to move wood out of areas quarantined for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). It is important that people follow state and federal laws, which restrict the movement of woody material, to keep the tree-killing pest from spreading outside of quarantined areas in Massachusetts, Ohio, and New York.

“We’re making progress in the fight against ALB. We removed quarantines in two areas of Ohio this year alone, but we still must prevent the beetle’s spread to other places,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ National Operations Manager for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program. “As people begin using wood stoves and fireplaces, we are reminding the public to follow the quarantine laws, especially when stocking up on firewood. We cannot eliminate this beetle without the help of residents and business owners.”

State and federal officials monitor the movement of wood within and around regulated areas to enforce the quarantine. They may issue fines to individuals and businesses that do not comply with the regulations. There are three things that people can immediately do to comply:

  1.  Enter into a compliance agreement if you are a business or individual working with trees or related products, such as firewood, within the regulated areas in Massachusetts, Ohio and New York. To obtain a compliance agreement, you must attend a 45-minute training session. There is no charge for the training or the compliance agreement. To register for an ALB compliance training session, please call:
  • 508-852-8110 if you work in Massachusetts,
  • 513-381-7180 if you work in Ohio, or
  • 631-288-1751 if you work in New York.

2.  If you have a compliance agreement, use designated wood disposal yards to dispose of ALB host material that is too large to be chipped on site, such as stumps. ALB-host material is firewood; green lumber; any living, dead, cut, or fallen tree pieces; and woody debris that is half an inch or more in diameter from the following tree types: maple, horse chestnut, mimosa, birch, katsura, ash, golden rain tree, sycamore, poplar, willow, mountain ash, and elm.

  • In Massachusetts, the wood disposal yard is located at 0 Dr. Paul Ware Drive in Boylston, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
  • In Ohio, the wood disposal yard is located at 2896 State Route 232 in Bethel and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
  • In New York, please contact the ALB program at 1-631-288-1751.

3.  Gather firewood locally, or buy it from a reputable dealer. Firewood suppliers should be aware of ALB regulations and the required compliance agreements. If you buy or gather firewood inside a regulated area, you must use it within the regulated area. It is not allowed to leave that area.

ALB eradication programs are a cooperative effort between federal, state, and local agencies. To date, APHIS and its partners have successfully eliminated the beetle from Illinois, New Jersey, portions of New York (Manhattan, Staten Island and Islip), portions of Ohio (Stonelick and Monroe townships), and Boston, Massachusetts.

ALB is a serious insect pest for certain hardwood tree species that can cause significant economic and environmental impacts if allowed to establish and spread throughout the United States. For more information about the beetle and program activities, please call the ALB toll free hotline at 1-866-702-9938 or visit www.aphis.usda.gov/pests-diseases/alb.



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