New analysis by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment says state forests were hit hard last year by the emerald ash borer and a variety of other ailments and invasive pests.
According to the Associated Press, in a report released yesterday, the DNRE said:
...people continue to make the invasive species problem worse by moving firewood infested with exotic organisms. The unwelcome critters also work their way into nursery stock and wooden pallets that are hauled around the state.
Lynne Boyd is chief of the Forest Management Division and says insects and foreign species are a big danger to Michigan's 19.3 million acres of woodlands. Industries connected to Michigan forests such as timber and recreation provide 136,000 jobs and pump $14 billion into the state's economy each year.
The Traverse City Record Eagle reports:
The Michigan Department of Agriculture has set up a quarantine to limit the ash borer's spread — including a firewood checkpoint at the Mackinac Bridge linking the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula. People caught hauling firewood into the U.P. can be fined or even jailed. Even so, the ash borer has been found in several U.P. locations after killing more than 30 million ash trees in southeastern Michigan.