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DNR receives grant to help communities recover from ash borer

Indiana communities in the Great Lakes watershed can apply to receive portions of $100,000 in federal grant money to use for tree-planting projects to improve water quality.

Planting trees will help mitigate the communities’ loss of trees affected by the emerald ash borer insect (EAB), according to Carrie Tauscher, director of the DNR Division of Forestry’s Community and Urban Forestry program, which received and will distribute the grant.

The grant is part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a cooperative effort between federal, tribal, state and local partners aimed at improving water quality. The project is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by the Forest Service. It supports local efforts to improve the collection, storage, infiltration, and evaporation of rainfall and storm water.

Planting trees reduces flooding and storm water overflows that cause raw sewage to enter waterways.

“Even in its first year after planting, a young 3-inch tree can intercept around 400 gallons of storm water,” Tauscher said. “Imagine planting 800 trees. That is 320,000 gallons of storm water intercepted by the trees.”

Tauscher said she hoped to begin accepting applications in late winter or spring.

The EAB grant was one of two GLRI grants awarded to DNR. Another, announced last week, will provide $35,000 to replant trees in the Indiana Dunes State Park campground. Planting will likely take place in spring 2015.

People interested in receiving information on DNR urban forestry grants, including the GLRI funds can subscribe to the grants information listserve. To subscribe, go to dnr.IN.gov/forestry and click on the red envelope icon on the left side of the webpage. Entering your email will take you to a second webpage where you can subscribe for “Urban Forestry: Grants Information.”

Week focuses on stopping spread of ash tree killer

Indiana has almost 150 million ash trees, and they are dying by the thousands, costing Hoosiers millions and marring the landscape.

The killer is tiny, elusive and resilient. The emerald ash borer beetle, EAB for short, can fly, but not far. Its rapid spread is caused by humans moving the firewood in which the beetles thrive.

To remind Hoosiers and visitors to Indiana to protect forests by not moving firewood, Gov. Mike Pence has declared May 18-24 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources regulates the types of firewood that can be brought onto State lands. The purpose is not only to stop spread of EAB, but also to fight the next invasive pest, which will likely travel in firewood, too.

The DNR requires all firewood entering state properties to: (1) be accompanied by a state or federal compliance stamp allowing such movement, or (2) be kiln-dried scrap lumber, or (3) be completely debarked if brought from home within Indiana.

To fight EAB, if you plan to have a campfire, the best option is to buy firewood close to where you will burn it; don’t bring it from home. Burn wood completely before leaving your site —don’t leave wood for the next person. Buying packaged firewood bearing a state or federal compliance stamp also helps.

Extensive information about the bug and the laws regarding firewood movement is at dnr.IN.gov/entomolo/3443.htm.

Suspected EAB infestations outside of the quarantine boundaries should be reported to DNR’s toll-free Invasive Species Hotline, 1-866-NO-EXOTIC. Insecticide treatments are available to protect individual trees from EAB. Many are cost effective. Seee abindiana.info.