Emerald Ash Borer Regulation in Maine: What comes next?
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a destructive woodboring beetle first recognized in North America more than 20 years ago in Detroit, Michigan. Almost five years ago, it was first detected in Maine. This pest has been found in seven of Maine’s 16 counties. The damage caused by EAB kills ash trees, often leading to tree death within three to five years of the initial attack. Ash trees represent about two percent of the trees on Maine’s more than 17.5 million forested acres. Ash trees are frequently found in our urban and suburban spaces in Maine. Presently, about 70 percent of the volume of ash trees in the forest is within an EAB-regulated area.
As the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) prepares to move forward with amending emerald ash borer rules, we want to know what approach the public supports. To that end, an additional public listening session has been scheduled.
The two options the DACF is currently considering are:
Option 1: Draft new quarantine rules based on current knowledge of EAB distribution and buffer area.
Option 2: Repeal the EAB quarantine rules.
Both options will require rulemaking, providing an opportunity for formal public comment. We would also welcome input on other possibilities we have not considered.