A recent meeting of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has revealed the development of a comprehensive plan with the U.S. Forest Service that includes biocontrol for managing the emerald ash borer (EAB) following deregulation of the pest in an effort to communicate the Agency’s commitment to stopping its spread.
- APHIS has determined that the Federal quarantine has not been effective in controlling the spread of EAB. Therefore, APHIS is publishing a proposed rule to remove the EAB domestic quarantine. Removing the domestic quarantine will allow APHIS to focus resources on biocontrol and other control options to mitigate the impact of EAB.
- APHIS is working with the National Plant Board to ensure non-regulatory action plans at the State level are harmonized to the greatest extent possible within the limitations of varying state authorities.
- APHIS will partner with industry on current and future solutions for controlling EAB.
- APHIS is supporting the National Plant Board as they work on a template for state-level harmonized approach to facilitate the safe movement of firewood.
What does this mean for TCIA members, the tree care industry and consumers?
- If you’re already engaged in ash protection, keep it up! Now that APHIS has abandoned the quarantine the only viable way to protect a high-value tree is to treat it.
- With the quarantine lifted, the movement of wood and wood byproducts like firewood are no longer restricted.
- TCIA will work on behalf of our members and the industry to help ensure that APHIS’s efforts around “current and future solutions for controlling EAB” do not hinder efforts at actual control.