DACF Proposes Expansion of Quarantines to Slow the Spread of Three Tree Killing Invasive Species
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry proposes expanding three forest protection quarantines to slow the spread of emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and European larch canker. Opportunities for public comment include public hearings at two sites and through a virtual option on September 6, 2023, at 10:00 AM, at the Maine Forest Service, Bolton Hill Regional Office, 2870 N Belfast Ave, Augusta, ME, and at the same time at the Maine Forest Service Regional Office, 87 Airport Rd, Old Town, ME. A virtual option using the Microsoft Teams platform will be available during those hearings. Commenters can join using this link, join the meeting on Microsoft Teams or by calling 207-209-4724 and the Conference ID of 429646377#.
The proposed changes to the emerald ash borer quarantine, Chapter 275, are designed to protect Maine’s forest and timber resources to slow movement of the emerald ash borer to uninfested parts of the State. The proposal extends the quarantined area in the Northern Aroostook County area and into multiple new counties in southern Maine. These measures help protect over 60% of the ash resource that is still outside the current quarantine areas of Maine. Chapter 275 Proposed Rules Draft (PDF) / Proposed EAB Quarantine Expansion Map (PDF)
The adjustments to the European larch canker quarantine, Chapter 272, extend a state quarantine against the European larch canker to prevent its movement from Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and Waldo Counties and parts of Androscoggin, Cumberland, Penobscot, and Washington counties to other parts of the State to protect Maine’s forest and landscape tree resources. The European larch canker is federally regulated, and this rule fulfills the requirement that Maine must have a similar state quarantine in place because the state is partially regulated for European larch canker. Chapter 272 Proposed Rules Draft (PDF) / Proposed ELC Quarantine Expansion Map (PDF)
If commenters cannot attend the public hearings in person or virtually, written comments must be submitted by 5:00 PM on September 22, 2023. Those attending the live sessions are welcome to submit additional written comments. Comments can be submitted to:
Gary Fish, State Horticulturist Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0028