Earlier this week on Lake Effect, the U.S. Forest Service’s regional forester said that invasive species are one of the agency’s most significant issues today. One of them - Emerald ash borer (EAB) continues to spread throughout southeastern Wisconsin.
The creature kills ash trees – a cornerstone species of the Midwest landscape. And millions of trees are at risk.
Communities are faced with tough decisions – treat ash trees to stave off disease or remove them altogether.
In the meantime, researchers continue to explore ways to control EAB’s penetration to unaffected forests – for example – by releasing wasps that prey on the beetle during its early development.
WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence takes a look at the issue – starting 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee at Riveredge Nature Center.
Wisconsin’s first EAB infestation was discovered on a property adjacent to the Center in the summer of 2008.
She speaks with Matt Smith, Land Steward Manager at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center; Ian Brown, the City of Milwaukee Urban Forestry Technical Services Manager; and Todd Johnson - Research Assistant in the Raffa Lab in the Department of Entomology University of Wisconsin-Madison.