DNR responds to emerald ash borer beetles found in La Crosse County

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Concern is growing in La Crosse County after six emerald ash borer beetles were found in ash trees in the town of Medary.

This is the first time the invasive species has been confirmed to be in the county by the state of Wisconsin.

DNR area forestry leader Greg Edge said the DNR is working with other state agencies to make sure the ash borer doesn’t spread to the rest of western Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said it caught six of the tree killing pests in traps in ash trees along Verde Valley Road last week.

“Because of infestations in neighboring Vernon and Crawford counties, it was expected that eventually we would see it here. We hoped it would be a little longer,” Edge said.

The La Crosse area forestry leader said because our ash trees have no resistance to the Asian emerald ash borer, the trees suffer a slow death.

“If it’s been there for a while, it is very difficult or impossible to eradicate it or stop it. The first steps are for the DNR and the Dept of Agriculture to survey the area, to find out how large of an infestation and how long it has been there. From there we can make decisions about what kind of management is best to help people deal with the pest,” Edge said.

Edge said it’s crucial for all to obey the Department of Agriculture’s upcoming quarantine on moving firewood out of La Crosse County.

“The primary way it gets around is us humans moving it and firewood is the common way people move it around,” Edge said.

The Department of Agriculture said it will be officially issuing a firewood quarantine for La Crosse County in the next couple days.


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  • by Jeff Location: Sault Ste Marie on Aug 24, 2011 at 11:34 AM
    Yes, slowed down but not stopped is the axiom we must live by... This is an invasive pest, so we are obliged to slow it down until persistent, natural controls are in place. The analogy of the wolves is not applicable as wolves are native animals that were once extirpated. Now that they're back we need to learn to live with them, much like we will need to learn to live with this borer. Besides, the US does not have the tools they need to detect incipient populations for a more effective slow the spread plan.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2011 at 06:44 PM in reply to Jeff
      Thank you Jeff. Unfortunately, they won't understand your point.
    • reply
      by David on Aug 25, 2011 at 10:45 AM in reply to Jeff
      An invasive pest is an invasive pest, regardless of indigenousness. The analogy is patent, when you consider that both wolves and EABs currently serve no purpose but to destroy. Put a hunting season on wolves, THEN you have a revenue generator. One can argue that EABs are doing exactly what they were born to do in order to survive, as the wolves are. The double standard is glaringly obvious in that case. Again, wolves have cute fuzzy pups, bugs don't, so the wolves are protected.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Aug 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM in reply to David
        The damage wolves do is negligible compared to this insect. This is not to minimize losing a pet. So a critter needs to be on the list that can be shot to have value? I could argue deer are a much destructive invasive than wolves.
      • reply
        by Jeff on Aug 25, 2011 at 12:51 PM in reply to David
        It's not the same, David. The reason why eab is doing great damage here is that few natural controls exist in North America. It was exactly the overuse of natural controls (i.e., man) that lead to the extirpation of wolves. And, yes, we should be able to schwack wolves to keep their numbers reasonable. Come to Ontario, you can shoot two a year in the northlands! Happy hunting.
        • reply
          by David on Aug 26, 2011 at 06:59 AM in reply to Jeff
          It's all about perspective. I have no vested interest in ash trees - their disappearance would not affect me. I DO care about my hunting dogs being ripped apart - 10 years ago that didn't happen. Now, we've lost 4 dogs to wolves, and our hunting grounds are saturated with the vermin. I appreciate your point of view, and understand it, but who gets to determine what a pest is, and which ones to exterminate? BTW, thank you for having an actual discussion, not a name-calling, political-bashing rant. It's refreshing. And Anonymous, deer are destructive, but there are already programs in place to limit their population, programs that generate revenue for the state. The wolf problem simply continues to grow, and Wisconsin will continue to lose money on them.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 26, 2011 at 08:08 AM in reply to Jeff
      David, There are controls in place for problem wolves. Recently, a pack was eliminated in Black River State Forest. Unfortunately, eab, as Jeff stated, has no natural, native controls. The problem with wolves is it forces you to have to take precautions. Are you a bear hunter? From my perspective, losing a dog while on the hunt is, well, part of the hunt. Losing millions of ash trees and millions in state revenue due to an unchecked nonnative species is much more devastating than wolves.
      • reply
        by David on Aug 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM in reply to
        The DNR's ability to control problem wolves is inadequate at this time. They act reactionary, after an attack. Picking off problem wolves here and there is doing nothing to stem the tide of depredations. We need a proactive approach, similar to what they are doing with eab. We assume a risk that the dogs may get injured by a bear. The depredations we have seen and those we hear from other hunting groups indicate the wolves gang-attack that dog from behind as it is trailing a bear. You speak of lost revenue from ash trees. If we had a $20 tag on wolves we could generate a million dollars in the first season alone, yet because of pro-wolf radicals plugging up the courts with ridiculous lawsuits, the DNR is continually blocked from pursuing it, and the problem grows. You still haven't convinced me that the eab is WORSE than the wolf (except for the fact that I can't fathom a way to generate ANY revenue from them being alive). I still see a 3-letter difference - you say "an unchecked nonnative species..." Take off the "non" and you have wolves. Again, thanks for rational discussion.
  • by David Location: Eau Claire on Aug 24, 2011 at 08:53 AM
    Hmmmmmm....let's sum up. We are supposed to try and eradicate a little bug because it kills trees. Yet, we are supposed to protect wolves, who kill deer, livestock, and pets, and cost Wisconsin several hundred thousand dollars a year in restitution costs, not to mention the anguish felt by dog owners finding their pets intestines ripped out, and farmers finding their calves partially eaten. What's the difference? Wolves have fuzzy puppies, so they get to live. The world grows stranger by the day.
  • by Louis on Aug 24, 2011 at 06:11 AM
    I think if the DNR puts the same management team on these as they did on the deer herd they should all be gone in no time.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:12 AM
    I was just in LaCrosse yesterday, amazing the amount of Ash trees they have on campus, and near the downtown area. This could get interesting for LaX
  • by Jack Location: Fall Creek on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:00 AM
    I really have seen these at my house in Fall Creek area. I step on them.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2011 at 06:45 PM in reply to Jack
      My guess is you have Japanese beetles.
  • by bigtrucker Location: Black River Falls on Aug 23, 2011 at 05:28 PM
    What a waste of time! Those little bugs are everywere. Every log truck you see has them on it, and they can go through three defrent counties to-get-to the mills. I think you could spend billions of dollars and not get them all. This is like cronic wasting disease for deer.
  • by Cory Location: ec on Aug 23, 2011 at 05:01 PM
    it can be slowed down, but not stopped
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