The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently announced the availability of $2 million in funding to assist with the Asian long-horned beetle infestation in Clermont County.
In June 2011, ALB was first discovered in Tate Township in Clermont County. This invasive beetle has no known natural predators and poses a threat to Ohio's hardwood forests and the Ohio economy, such as the state's $5 billion nursery industry, which employs nearly 240,000 people. To keep this tree-killing pest from spreading across Ohio, restricted areas are now in effect for Tate Township and parts of Monroe, Stonelick and Batavia Townships in Clermont County, as well as for East Fork State Park. ALB has only been found in Clermont County in Ohio at this time.
"More extensive surveys will help us determine the full extent of the Clermont County infestation," says ODA Director David Daniels. "It is very important that boundaries of this infestation are identified so we can work to prevent this infestation from spreading outside the current area."
The Ohio ALB Cooperative Eradication Program in Clermont County has been working to survey, detect and remove trees infested with ALB. As of Sept. 4, the program removed 8,716 infested trees out of 170,575 trees surveyed.
To assist with these removal efforts, funds are being made available for delimitation survey through the Ohio General Assembly.
"We recognize the change in the landscape that residents are seeing with the removal of infested trees," says James Zehringer, ODNR director. "Ohio has always been known for its beautiful trees, and we want to work with property owners and provide them with resources to begin replanting efforts."
In addition to the delimitation survey, funds will be available to replant trees for residents who had trees removed from their yards as a result of the ALB infestation. ODA will work cooperatively with the ODNR Division of Forestry to re-establish some of the area's lost canopy cover by providing eligible property owners with non-ALB host trees.
The Ohio ALB Cooperative Eradication Program is comprised of the United State Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, ODA, ODNR, Ohio State University Extension and USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Forest Service. To report signs or symptoms of ALB, call the Ohio ALB Cooperative Eradication Program Office at 513-381-7180 or report online at www.BeetleBusters.info.