EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

April 24, 2013

Emerald ash borer focus of public meetings

State and federal agencies will host three public meetings about the recent discovery of the emerald ash borer in New Hampshire and the quarantine put in place as a result of the discovery.

Members of the public are invited to attend to learn more about the invasive insect and its impact on New Hampshire forests, communities and landowners and to provide input on the quarantine.

Meeting times and locations are as follows: April 24, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, Thornton, 6 to 8 p.m.; May 2, NH Fire Academy auditorium, 98 Smokey Bear Blvd., Concord, 1 to 3 p.m.; May 2, NH Fire Academy auditorium, 98 Smokey Bear Blvd., Concord, 6 to 8 p.m.

The emerald ash borer, a federally regulated insect that attacks and kills ash trees, was detected in Concord last month.

The state issued an emergency quarantine for Merrimack County in order to limit the human-assisted spread of the beetle by regulating the movement of all hardwood firewood, ash nursery stock, ash logs and other ash forest products originating in the county. The public comment period on the quarantine ends May 8.

At the meetings, representatives from the N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, the N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development Division of Forests and Lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine and the U.S. Forest Service will describe the emerald ash borer’s threat and the purpose and provisions of the quarantine.

They will also answer questions and hear public comments about the quarantine. Feedback from the public will guide the state’s continuing response.

Concerned citizens, homeowners who have ash trees on their properties, community leaders, members of the forestry and “green” industries, and those concerned about the health of New Hampshire’s trees and forests are encouraged to be part of the conversation.

To learn more about emerald ash borer and the Merrimack County quarantine, or to make a comment about the quarantine, go to nhbugs.org.

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