MDA to Implement Gypsy Moth Quarantine in Lake and Cook Counties

Targeted News Service |

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 30 -- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture issued the following news release: To help slow the spread of one of America's most destructive tree pests, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be implementing a gypsy moth quarantine for Lake and Cook counties on July 1, 2014. This is the first quarantine for gypsy moth in the state of Minnesota. A quarantine will help ensure gypsy moth isn't being transported by human activity. Outdoor items in the quarantined counties, like logs and firewood, camping equipment and patio furniture, that could be infested with gypsy moth must be inspected and certified as gypsy moth-free before moving to a non-quarantined area. This is done in two ways: * Homeowners, campers and others who live in and visit the proposed quarantine will need to self-inspect outdoor household items, like RVs, camping equipment and patio furniture, before moving those items out of the quarantine. * A compliance agreement allows items regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including firewood, pulp wood, and saw logs, to move out of the quarantine area or to be received by a business or individual outside Lake and Cook counties. The compliance agreement outlines practices for safe handling, transportation and storage to mitigate the spread of gypsy moth. Compliance agreements are documents prepared and agreed to by the company, city, county, agency, or organization interested in moving the regulated article and the MDA, or USDA in the case of interstate movement. "A quarantine is a necessary tool we, as regulators, must use to ensure Minnesota's forests and landscapes remain healthy," said Geir Friisoe, Director of MDA's Plant Protection Division. "This gypsy moth quarantine will accomplish that by slowing the human-assisted spread of the insect while maintaining the timber, nursery and tourism industries." The MDA has been tracking and treating gypsy moth in Minnesota for decades. Since April 2013, MDA staff has been in discussions with the timber and nursery industries, as well as local, state, federal, and tribal officials on a potential quarantine. When 2013 trapping results showed a record number of gypsy moths, 90 percent of which were located in Lake and Cook counties, an advisory group recommended a quarantine of the two northeastern most counties in the state to the Commissioner of Agriculture. During a 45-day comment period earlier this year, 19 comments were received concerning the proposed quarantine. The proposal was amended to account for comments. Details of the quarantine can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/gmquarantine. For questions on gypsy moth or the quarantine, call MDA's Arrest the Pest Hotline at 888-545-6684 (voicemail) or email gypsy.moth@state.mn.us. CC AutoTriage15db-140701-30VitinMar-4784535

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