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Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Training to Take Place in Sioux Falls





For Immediate Release:  April 22, 2016
Media Contact:  Jody Heemstra, 605.773.4073




Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Training to Take Place in Sioux Falls


PIERRE, S.D.- Emerald ash borer, an exotic insect responsible for the loss of more than 100 million ash trees in the United States over the past two decades, is getting closer to South Dakota.


Anticipating the time when it may be discovered in this state, the State of South Dakota in cooperation with the City of Sioux Falls will be conducting a field training exercise on Thursday, April 28, to practice the response to a discovery of this insect.


“Emerald ash borer is a serious threat to ash trees throughout our state and we need to prepare for its inevitable arrival,” says Greg Josten, state forester. “This training exercise is an opportunity for local, state and federal agencies to put our emerald ash borer readiness plan into action and make modifications based upon the day’s outcomes.”


Once detected, ash trees can be treated to prevent borer infestations. Infested trees can be removed and destroyed to slow the expansion of an outbreak.


The April 28 training exercise will involve survey crews examining trees in Sioux Falls parks for signs and symptoms and reporting the findings. Since emerald ash borer has not yet been discovered in the state, this is meant as a practice exercise for the people involved.


Emerald ash borer was accidently introduced from East Asia into the Detroit, Michigan, area sometime during the 1990s. Since that time, it has killed ash trees in 25 states and two Canadian provinces. The insect was detected in central Minnesota in 2009 and Iowa in 2010.


Emerald ash borer is a serious threat to South Dakota as black, green or white ash make up about one-third of the trees in many of the state’s communities. Ash is also a common windbreak tree and a major species in the riparian forests that line South Dakota’s rivers and streams. Native ash species have no natural defense against the borer.


Those interested can follow the April 28 readiness training exercise on the SD Department of Agriculture’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.


Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter.