Apr 28, 2006- Kaptur Brings USDA to Northern Ohio Fight Against Emerald Ash Borer

June 12, 2007
Press Release
Kaptur was joined by the USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Mark Rey, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Extension Service of Ohio State University, several area landscapers and nursery operators, and school children to bring community awareness to private home and land owners. She urged scout troops, school groups, the business community, public organizations, and religious groups to undertake tree planting this spring to replace what is being destroyed by Emerald Ash Borer infestation.

Kaptur, Undersecretary Rey and Sister Jeremias planted an American Chestnut tree in celebration of Arbor Day. The Sisters of St. Francis have agreed to distribute 700 trees to the public in an effort to reforest our area. The trees were donated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

"I hope that Undersecretary Rey will come away from his visit with a better appreciation for the challenges we face, the needs we have, and with the certainty that future USDA resources would be well spent here in northern Ohio," said Kaptur. "We are hopeful that this campus will be used as a demonstration site for controlling this pest. The infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer pest is a public safety issue. Once the tree has been infected the tree rapidly deteriorates and can cause damage to homes, property or even human life. We are asking homeowners on this Arbor Day to inspect their lands, discover the characteristics of ash trees and the signs of infected trees."

The Undersecretary's visit follows on a meeting Congresswoman Kaptur hosted with top USDA officials in Washington, including the U.S. Forest Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Kaptur, a member of the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee has requested additional emergency dollars to assist with the effective control and containment of the Emerald Ash Borer.

Nearly $88 million has been spent by USDA alone to control this bug which first inflicted Michigan, and has now spread primarily to Ohio and Indiana. This money includes $7.5 million of emergency funding that the Appropriations Committee on which Kaptur serves has been told has been approved, but final allocation decisions are yet to be made by the Department. USDA officials had originally estimated that the total cost of control would be $250 million.

"We are grateful to Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur for her tenacity in helping the Sisters of St. Francis keep their homestead as a recognized forest," said Sister Jeremias Stinson, Director of Woodlands and Shrine, Sisters of St. Francis.

"The Sisters of St. Francis are fine stewards of the earth," said Kaptur. "As a part of their mission and ministry, the Sisters of St. Francis share their lives and resources with all God's people. On this Arbor Day, we plant hope. Our hope focuses on those who will reside in our area in the future so they may continue to enjoy our rich lands, beautiful trees on the emerald necklace that encircles Lake Erie," concluded Kaptur.

Individuals needing information on removing or treating Ash trees may contact the Ohio State Extension Office in Lucas County at 419-578-6783. To secure a tree, please contact Sister Jeremias Stinson at 419-824-3623. The Congresswoman also encouraged the elderly or disabled who may need assistance in planting trees to call Sandy Garrison at the Maumee Valley Girl Scout Council at 419-243-8216.

For more information, visit https://www.emeraldashborer.info/