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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at

State Forester: Emerald Ash Borer Attack Imminent

You’ve heard of the Mountain Pine Beetle; now get ready for the Emerald Ash Borer.

While the pine beetle attacks trees in the Black Hills, the ash borer munches on ash trees that populate the entire state.

The State Forester Ray Sowers says the Emerald Ash Borer is already in Minnesota and Kansas.  He says it is only a matter of time until they get here.  Sowers says the bugs will likely enter the state on firewood. 

Sowers told the State House Ag and Natural Resources Committee in Pierre that almost 50-percent of the urban trees in South Dakota are ash.   But he says the most vulnerable populations are not in cities.

“Where I think it’s going to become critical in South Dakota is it’s going to move up our waterways and take out our native ash, and that’s where it’s going to spread from area to area is probably in our natural waterways,” says Sowers. 

On a brighter note--Sowers says better tactics for fighting the bug have been developed since it began to spread.  He says the relative isolation of many South Dakota towns and cities will help save urban trees.

You can find more information and links on the Emerald Ash Borerhere.

Here also is an interview with Dr. John Ball SD State Entomologiston the City of Sioux Falls Website.

Here is the South Dakota Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Plan (.pdf)

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