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Governor Dayton proclaims May 22-28 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

St. Paul, Minn. - Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed May 22-28 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week. The designation is an effort to raise awareness of the destructive nature of emerald ash borer (EAB) and promote the use of local or MDA Certified Firewood when camping this upcoming summer.

EAB is a tree pest not native to the U.S. But since being discovered in Michigan in 2002, it has been found in 15 states, including Minnesota. The insect attacks and kills ash trees when the larvae tunnel under the tree's bark, cutting off its food supply. EAB has been spread in firewood, nursery stock and possibly other ash materials.

During EAB Awareness Week, the MDA is urging residents to use local firewood or wood that has been certified by the MDA as safe to transport, for example from home to a campground. The MDA Certified Firewood program ensures the ash firewood is free of EAB through a heat-treatment process.

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson says it's important for all Minnesotans to be aware of this destructive pest and not help it move around the state.

"With nearly one billion ash trees in Minnesota, EAB could be devastating for our tourism and lumber industries, our natural landscapes and our recreational destinations" says Frederickson. "Please look for the MDA Certified Firewood logo which ensures EAB is not living in the wood you burn."

For more information on emerald ash borer, visit the MDA's website at www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab.aspx.

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