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Why the Cass County EAB discovery is so important

This October, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that emerald ash borer (EAB) had been confirmed in southeast Cass County, near Remer. This is an important announcement. Landowners need to be aware of the threat EAB poses not only on their land but to many thousands of acres of nearby forests. 

Although EAB is not new to Minnesota (Cass is the 45th Minnesota county with a known EAB infestation), this finding is significant. EAB is a non-native, highly destructive forest insect that causes virtually 100% mortality in our native ash trees. Black ash dominates thousands of acres of wet forest ecosystems across northern Minnesota. It is important to native wildlife, it plays a huge role in regulating soil moisture in wet forests, and it is a species of great cultural importance to Anishinaabe people across the region. 

Knowing that EAB is now established in the heart of northern Minnesota forests, woodland owners need to watch carefully for it and take action to slow the spread. What does that mean? If you have ash trees on your property:

If you live or own land in or near Cass County and want to learn more about this discovery and what you can do, here are a few options:

Finally, EAB is spread by people, often with no idea that they’re causing a problem. Help avoid new infestations of EAB, spongy moth, and other non-native species by avoiding moving firewood from infested areas, respecting quarantines, and informing yourself and your network about these issues.

Do you suspect EAB on your property?

If you think you have EAB, report it immediately to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Report a Pest

Eli Sagor, Extension forestry specialist

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