Cooperatove Conservation Project

Asian Long-horned Beetle Eradication

Agencies and Citizens Team Up to Fight Tree-killing Insect

Location: Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic Region: New Jersey New York
Midwest/Northern High Plains Region: Illinois

Project Summary: A coordinated effort among agencies and citizens to control the spread of the Asian Long-horned Beetle and restore infested areas with tree plantings.
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Forest Service smokejumpers have been instrumental in detecting Asian longhorned beetle in all of the current quarantine areas.
Resource Challenge
 The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), a native of China, entered  the United States accidentally, probably in wood packing material.  First found in New York City in 1996, the bug appeared in Chicago  in 1998 and in Jersey City, New Jersey in 2002. In 2003, a large  ALB infestation was found near Toronto, Canada, and another was  detected in Carteret, New Jersey in August 2004.
The ALB kills certain species of trees by boring large holes in  the wood. Without natural enemies, it could spread unchecked,  devastating lumber, maple syrup, nursery, fruit, and tourism  industries, causing $41 billion in losses. The only known way to kill the beetle is to cut, chip, and  burn infested trees. Researchers in the United States and Asia are  cooperating to find other effective controls.
Early detection in high-risk areas, such as ports and adjacent cities, is the first line of defense. Homeowners and citizens are critical  to finding and eliminating the beetle and were the first to identify  several infested sites. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection  Service (APHIS) enacted quarantines and placed some restrictions  on importing solid wood packing material from China and Hong Kong.
Examples of Key Partners
USDA Forest Service, USDA Agricultural Research Service, USDA APHIS,  Cities of Chicago, Jersey City, New Jersey, and New York, University  of Vermont, New York ReLeaf, Trees New York; State Departments of  Agriculture, State Foresters, tree care businesses, private citizens, and  community groups.
Results and Accomplishments
State and federal agencies, cities, local groups, and volunteers formed rapidly in an intensive, coordinated response that continues today. Professional surveys, public awareness campaigns, technical assistance to communities and residents, and financial resources are dedicated to removing and destroying infested trees.
Agencies have found innovative ways to respond quickly: for example, the USDA Forest Service brought in smokejumpers to climb and inspect trees that could not be reached with bucket trucks. Volunteers search trees from the ground.
Specific actions taken include:
• 10,000 trees have been removed from infested areas.
• 150,000 trees around the perimeter of infested locations have
     been treated to prevent infestation.
• 8,000 trees have been replanted.
• Collectively, USDA and state agencies have invested more than $30 million.
• An intensive, coordinated, nationwide public awareness campaign continues.

Today, there are signs that these measures are working: fewer infested trees were found in 2004 than in previous years, and two quarantines outside Chicago have been lifted.

A rapid response, multi-organizational project that relies on citizen initiative to fight a tree-killing insect.

Project Contact
Joseph McCarthy
Senior City Forester, Chicago
City of Chicago—Bureau of Forestry


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