March 27, 2017
FOREST INVASIVE SPECIES CAMPAIGN
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Protect Manitoba Trees,
Don’t Move Firewood: Cox
The Manitoba government continues to reach out to the public and encourage them to help protect the environment with the launch of a new forest invasive species awareness campaign, Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox announced today.
“Our environment is under threat from invasive species, whether it’s pests like zebra mussels in the water to the emerald ash borer in our forests,” Cox said. “We all have a role to play and we want Manitobans and visitors to our province to have the information needed to help keep these pests from getting into our environment. The emerald ash borer hasn’t been found in Manitoba yet but it’s moving closer and now is the time to be vigilant.”
The most important step that Manitobans and visitors to the province can take is simply to not move firewood, the minister said. Firewood should not be moved from one area to another because it can transport pests like the emerald ash borer (EAB). Buy firewood from the area that it’s going to be burned and if there is extra wood, leave it behind for the next camper.
The emerald ash borer is a highly invasive and destructive insect responsible for the destruction of millions of ash trees in Ontario, Quebec and the United States. In proximity to Manitoba, EAB have been found as close as Thunder Bay, Ont. As its name suggests, the emerald ash borer is a shiny green colour and the larvae live under the bark of ash trees or firewood. Once infected by EAB, a tree can die in as little as one year. The minister noted Winnipeg’s tree population could be particularly vulnerable to EAB, as the City of Winnipeg estimates approximately 30 per cent of its urban forest is ash trees.
Cox noted this message builds on the efforts undertaken earlier this year when the province unveiled its new aquatic invasive species campaign, called ‘Spot the Stripes, Stop the Spread’. For more information on invasive species, visit www.manitoba.ca/stopthespread or call 204-945-7866