Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Emerald Ash Borer

In 2002 an ex-boyfriend and I were trying to get into Canada to go camping and see a Shakespeare play in Stratford.  Because he was half mexican, we got search at the border, in immigrations.  The mounties took all of our fire wood we were transporting with us.  (Side note:  I almost got arrested for having drugs because they thought my mom's 2 yr old baggie of venison jerky was pot.)  Everyone there was mean. 

Then in college, Elliot, and other people around, had bumper stickers that said "Don't move my fire wood, it BUGS me!"  I didn't know what it meant, and that bugged me.  My mom, or someone, told me that it's to prevent the movement of invasive species (bugs).

Through the years I've been aware of different bugs, fungi, and sicknesses that are killing different trees in our forest.

Once I moved to my new place in Nashville with a fireplace, I asked my parents to bring me firewood so I would have to purchase it.  They would not b/c they were not going to move firewood across state lines.

All this to tell you that Emerald Ash Borer (and other invasive species) outreach is working!  I told that to the speakers we had last week at my work's Annual Meeting, and they were happy to hear it.  I was excited to see how their outreach and work has affected me and changed me through my life.  Pretty neat to think about really.  The speakers talked to the Natural Resources Committee about what the Emerald Ash Borer looked like, what it did, what they were doing to stop it, and the best way to stop it from spreading...stop the movement of firewood by humans.

Below is a paragraph stated far better than I could from the above linked website:

"Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. It probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating in its native Asia. Because ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) in North America have no immunity to the insect, EAB has the potential to wipe out more than 700 million ash trees in Michigan. Since 2002, it has killed more than 30 million ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone. State and federal agencies in Michigan, and researchers in Michigan universities, are working to stop EAB from spreading. This includes the initiation of quarantines to stop the movement of infested ash wood and wood products, research to understand the pest's life cycle and what methods and strategies can control or eradicate it and development of educational and informational materials to help communities detect and deal with EAB infestations."

I was able to get one of those bumper stickers for my truck that was magnetic, so I don't have to worry about sticking it to it.  I also received a key chain with an actual Emerald Ash Borer beetle in it!

Now, why is this interesting enough to write about?  Well, doesn't it speak for itself...who wouldn't find this interesting?!  

Well, there is another reason beside pure deliverance of knowledge...it was mentioned on my favorite tv shows last week (but I didn't watch until last night), Bones.  Bones is a murder mystery drama show that is lighthearted. The entomologist (Bug Scientist) on the show located the murder site by finding "the Emerald Ash Borer, a rare bug only found in parts of high elevations of Virginia" on the body.  RARE BUG!?!?!  I am outraged!!! Outraged!!  I heard that and I grabbed Josh by the collar and shook him, yelling that they're wrong.  How can Bones let me down like that?  It's like they weren't even trying!  The least they could do is make up a bug name, like they did on Avatar and The Core with Unobtainium...not a real mineral, but didn't ruin things for me.  Not like this.  The government is paying good money to get rid of this bug and my favorite tv show is doing nothing to help!

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