USDA Announces Additional $1.85 Million to Fight Emerald Ash Borer in Ohio

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced an additional $1.85 million in funding for the state of Ohio's emerald ash borer (EAB) eradication program.

"This funding is part of the Bush Administration's commitment to help ensure this invasive species does not spread into additional states," said Johanns. "It's critical that the emerald ash borer is contained so we can protect the ash trees in our nation's urban and rural forests that are an integral part of the forest ecosystem and our economy."

Tree removal is currently the only means to eradicate EAB. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture will use the funding for tree removal at the North Baltimore site. Since 2003, APHIS has provided more than $17 million to Ohio for its EAB eradication program. President Bush's fiscal year 2006 budget proposal provides $32.6 million for EAB eradication efforts in affected states, a $27.6 million increase over the 2005 appropriations level.

EAB is an invasive species of wood boring beetles that targets ash trees in North America. It was first detected in July 2002 in southeastern Michigan and has since been found in Ohio, Indiana, Maryland and Virginia. EAB was found in Ohio in February 2003 in Lucas County. The pest is native to China and eastern Asia.

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