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08-17-2010 Update from USDA on EAB & TCD Status in Knox & Loudon Counties

08/17/2010 -

During the past few weeks, you were contacted with respect to the activities of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA), the Tennessee Division of Forestry (TDF), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Our organizations have worked together for the past 2 1/2 weeks to complete an extensive survey of Knox and Loudon counties plus the surrounding counties.  They initiated regulatory actions for entities operating within Knox and Loudon Counties and conducted outreach to a large number of campgrounds throughout the surrounding counties and into Sevier County.  Finally, they have visited truck stops and rest areas along all major highways to provide information regarding the recent pest detections and the risks associated with moving firewood.

We would like to provide you and your organizations with brief summaries of the two recent pest detections in Knox County and Loudon County.  Additionally, we would like to provide you with links to more information and points of contact for any questions that you may have pertaining to regulatory requirements and outreach.

On Thursday, July 22, 2010, there was confirmed detection of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Knox County.  The State established the quarantine in Knox County.  Based upon the proximity of the initial detection, Loudon County was also quarantined.  A confirmed detection of EAB was made in Loudon County on August 7, further supporting the quarantine.  The insect attacks Ash species and this confirmation represents the southernmost detection of this pest.  The pest has also been found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  TDA has established a quarantine restricting the movement of all Ash materials (i.e. mulch, ash nursery stock, etc.) as well as all firewood made of hardwood out of Knox and Loudon counties.

On Monday, August 2, 2010, there was a confirmed detection of Thousand Canker Disease (TCD) in Knox County.  This is the first detection of the disease east of the Mississippi River.  The disease is transmitted by a small twig beetle and leads to the demise of Black Walnut trees.  TDA and TDF are currently surveying to determine the spread of this disease.  They are also working with technical experts to establish a program to slow the spread of this disease.  State regulations are currently being developed that will impact the movement of Black Walnut out of the affected areas.

In addition to ongoing surveys, we plan to increase outreach in regard to stopping the long distance movement of firewood as this is a significant pathway for movement of insects and diseases that threaten the health of our agriculture and natural environment.

For additional information about either of these pests or information related to deterring the movement of firewood, please refer to the following websites and hotline numbers:

Emerald Ash Borer:
http://www.emeraldashborer.info/
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/emerald_ash_b/
http://www.state.tn.us/agriculture/regulatory/eab.html
Emerald Ash Borer Hotline: 866-322-4512
USDA Regulations: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/emerald_ash_b/quarantine.shtml

Thousand Canker Disease:
http://www.state.tn.us/agriculture/regulatory/tcd.html
http://www.thousandcankerdisease.com/
http://www.forestry.ok.gov/Websites/forestry/Images/Thousand%20Cankers%20Disease.pdf

Stop the Movement of Firewood:
http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/firewood/index.shtml
http://www.goodcamper.info/


We appreciate your help in distributing the message about these pests that are threatening our natural environment.  You can reach the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at (865) 837-5137, or USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine at (615) 907-3357.


Sincerely,

Ralph Cooley, USDA APHIS PPQ TN State Plant Health Director

Gray Haun, TDA Administrator, Division of Regulatory Services



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