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Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

North Country Scenic Trail near Fort Ransom
ND Department of Tourism
North Country Scenic Trail near Fort Ransom

Governor Doug Burgum declared this week Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in North Dakota. The emerald ash borer is a type of pest that attacks ash trees feeding under the bark and disrupting the movement of water and nutrients in the tree. The pests have killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in the United States over the past decade. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the emerald ash borer spreads slowly on its own, but it can be moved long distances in firewood and ash nursery stock.

"I think the biggest thing is, we have a lot of visitors, we have a lot of people that come visit over the summer and sometimes, they just pick up firewood in their back yard or from a known, reputable source to them in their state, and then they bring it with, because they just want the convenience. The problem is, you can be moving pests. We have strongly discouraged and told people that they can't do that. Just buy firewood from some of our local providers and you'll be much better off and we'll be better off."

Ash trees make up between 20 percent to 80 percent of trees in North Dakota communities.

"We do set up traps. We try to manage and find out where it's at if we have it. We don't have it, but we try to monitor and do surveillance to make sure that if it does show up, we can try to isolate it and mitigate it."

Commissioner Goehring asks the public not to disturb the traps that they may see on ash trees in their area.