The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) has revised its Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine to protect Great Lakes islands and to adjust Quarantine Level boundaries in several counties in the Upper Peninsula—effective immediately.
“The Keweenaw County quarantine was revised to reflect the confirmation of an EAB infestation. This is the county’s first identification of EAB,” said Gina Davis, acting director of MDA’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. “The quarantine revisions are being made following survey work conducted by MDA, conservation districts, and Michigan Technological University in 2010.”
The U.P. counties currently under quarantine are Alger, Chippewa, Delta, Houghton, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, and Schoolcraft. The Lower Peninsula continues to be quarantined in its entirety.
In addition to the quarantine boundary changes, the revised quarantine impacts a number of islands in the Great Lakes. It is now prohibited to move hardwood firewood, and the other articles regulated by the quarantine, from anywhere in Michigan to the following areas without a compliance agreement.
- Beaver Island Archipelago (including North Fox Island and South Fox Island) in Lake Michigan
- Big Charity Island and Little Charity Island in Saginaw Bay/Lake Huron
- Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior
- North Manitou Island and South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan, which are part of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.
“Although, travelers are able to freely move firewood throughout the Lower Peninsula, and some areas of the UP, we are urging them not to do so as there are other invasive insects besides emerald ash borer – such as Gypsy Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle and Sirex Woodwasp – that can hitch a ride on it,” said Davis. “Please continue to only use local sources of firewood, burn all you buy, and don’t take any unused firewood back home or to the next location.”
MDA continues to ask hunters and other travelers not to move firewood to help prevent the artificial spread of the emerald ash borer. Campers and hunters should purchase firewood locally when visiting state parks, recreation areas and state forest campgrounds as it is a violation of state land use rules to bring ash firewood onto state forests, state parks, recreation areas, and state forest campgrounds.
The ban on moving hardwood firewood north across the Mackinac Bridge remains in effect and quarantine violators can still face fines and penalties. Additionally, MDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Station at the Mackinac Bridge remains in place to prevent hardwood firewood and other regulated material from entering the UP.
EAB is an exotic insect native to Asia that attacks ash trees. In its larval stage, EAB feeds undetected under the bark of ash trees, disrupting water and nutrient flow—ultimately killing the trees in three to four years. First discovered in 2002, the borer is responsible for the death or damage of approximately 35 million ash trees in the Lower Peninsula.
Additional information about EAB, quarantine details, and a map of the quarantine boundaries are available at www.michigan.gov/eab or www.emeraldashborer.info.