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Posted August 25 , 2010
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Alert - Infestation

Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Waterloo Region

Waterloo Region -- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Waterloo Region in the area of Homer Watson Boulevard/Fountain Street and the 401.

Movement restrictions have been placed on the affected properties and the owners have been notified. Further regulatory measures to control this infestation will be considered once the CFIA surveying is completed in later this year.

The EAB is a highly destructive insect that attacks and kills all species of ash trees, excluding Mountain Ash which is not a true ash tree. Native to eastern Asia, EAB was first discovered in Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan in 2002.

At this time, there is only confirmed presence of the EAB on two properties near the 401 in Cambridge and Kitchener. Because we cannot be sure how wide-spread the infestation may be, we are taking a region-wide approach to managing this situation. Staff from the Region of Waterloo, City of Cambridge, City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo and the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) are working together to provide information to the public as well as implement measures and actions to help slow the spread of the pest.

There is no immediate cause for alarm; the EAB poses no risk to human health and the impacts of the EAB may not be seen for several years. At this time, we are asking residents and visitors to take the following steps to help slow the spread of the pest:

· Don’t transfer firewood into or out of Waterloo region – buy local, burn local, never take it home.

· Don’t transfer or move ash trees in the form of nursery stock, logs, lumber, fire wood, ash-wood packaging, ash-wood branches or bark into or out of Waterloo region.

· If you have an ash tree on your private property that is showing signs of decline or distress and suspect it may be infested by the EAB, contact the CFIA at 1-866-463-6017.

Staff from the local municipalities will continue to work together through the fall and winter to identify if and where there are signs the EAB is present. This will help staff to prioritize the plan to slow the spread of the pest and manage the costs of removal and replacement of ash trees. It is important to note that cutting down ash trees (either infected or not) does not stop the spread of EAB.

A website has been set up to provide local information and resources for residents about the EAB and how municipalities are handling it. Visit www.EABWaterlooRegion.ca to learn more about the EAB, how to identify an ash tree and recognize the signs of EAB infestation. The website will also contain updates on the CFIA and municipal investigations. More resources and information will be added to the site as it becomes available.

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