State recruiting help in the fight against invasive forest pests
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota’s forests and urban landscapes are increasingly threatened by invasive pests such as emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, and sirex wood wasp. Beating back these invaders requires quick detection and response to any infestation, and that’s why the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are recruiting volunteers to serve as pest “first detectors.”
The role of a first detector is to serve as a public contact for information about these pests and to help investigate reports of potential infestations in Minnesota. Volunteers attend a one-day training session and must be willing to commit to being involved with the program after completing the training. Forest Pest First Detector training sessions are scheduled as follows:
* March 26 Crookston - 8:20 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center, University of Minnesota Crookston
* March 31 Hibbing – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hibbing Memorial Building, 400 East 23rd Street
* April 2 Farmington – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th Street West
* April 7 Lamberton – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lamberton Research and Outreach Center, 23669 130th Street
More information is available online at www.mda.state.mn.us/invasives/eab. Interested volunteers may also contact the “Arrest The Pest” Hotline at 651-201-6684 in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area or 888-545-6684 throughout Greater Minnesota.
While emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, and other invasive pests are not yet established in Minnesota, they are getting closer each year. Emerald ash borer was discovered in Wisconsin and Missouri for the first time in 2008, and experts predict it is only a matter of time before the pest – and others like it – attack Minnesota trees.