Letter from Rep. Danou: Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Perrot State ParkLast week, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced that a single adult emerald ash borer (EAB) has been captured in a trap in Perrot State Park.
By: Rep. Chris Danou , Pierce County Herald
Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced that a single adult emerald ash borer (EAB) has been captured in a trap in Perrot State Park. The capture was confirmed on August 16th by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The area is directly across the Mississippi River from an infestation in Minnesota and is north of previously discovered infestations in Wisconsin counties along the river.
While the emerald ash borer is a green beetle native to Asia, it has proven to be highly destructive in a short period of time to ash trees in North America. It was accidentally introduced in the United States and Canada in the 1990’s and since it was detected in 2002, the EAB has spread to 14 states and adjacent parts of Canada. It is estimated that the EAB has killed somewhere between 50 and 100 million ash trees so far and threatens to kill billions of black, green and white ash trees in our nation’s cities, forests, parks and yards.
As a result of the find, DATCP will place Trempealeau County under EAB quarantine in the very near future. The EAB quarantine will affect some businesses that use certain ash products. Most Trempealeau County residents and people within the quarantine cannot remove firewood, regardless of tree species from the quarantine area.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will identify areas of the park that will require EAB monitoring and management and some infested trees may need to be removed to help maintain the health of the forest.
Visitors to the park must remember that firewood brought to the park must come from within 25 miles of the park, and leftover wood should be left at their campsites.
The EAB has been confirmed in 12 other Wisconsin counties: Brown, Crawford, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha. In addition to these counties, Fond du Lac and Sheboygan counties are also under EAB quarantine.
Living in Trempealeau, I get to visit Perrot Sate Park regularly and recognize what a unique and beautiful place it is. It is important for us to do everything we can to stop the spread of EAB and protect Perrot State Park and its history. As most of you know, Perrot State Park was named after Nicholas Perrot, a French explorer who came to the area in 1685 and was one of the first Europeans in the upper Mississippi River valley. Perrot was a trapper and fur trader who helped develop trade and forge treaties with many tribes that lived in the area. In 1732, a French fort was built on Perrot’s winter camp and was used until 1737. Today, a historical marker near the park’s entrance recognizes the approximate location of Perrot’s first camp.
Perrot State Park has a deep history with visitors reaching back 7,000 years. There is archaeological evidence that shows there were tribes before the French arrived in the 17th century. The Mississippi River and the surrounding lands were important trade and travel routes for several native cultures including Archaic, Early Woodland, Hopewell and Effigy Mound groups. Remnants of these early cultures remain throughout the park in the form of mounds and it is important that we not only preserve the mounds, but also the ash trees throughout Perrot.
One way to help identify and stop the spread of EAB is for Trempealeau County residents or residents in any other county known to be infested with EAB to contact an arborist or other tree care professionals to determine if ash trees on their property are infested or are at risk of being infested by EAB. It should be reported to DATCP if a professional suspects EAB infestation and DATCP will investigate if infestation has occurred. For more information on EAB and other common ash problems please visit www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov.
As always, it is great to hear what’s on your mind and I encourage you to contact me with any concern, idea or question you may have.