Title: The economics of area-wide ash surveillance, treatment, and removal strategies to slow the spread of emerald ash borer in urban forests
Speaker: Robert G. Haight, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, St. Paul, MN
Date: April 1st, 11:00 AM ET
Abstract: The emerald ash borer (EAB) is one of the most economically and environmentally damaging invasive species ever to reach the United States. Economic damage of EAB is most severe in cities that lose abundant high-value ash trees growing along streets and in yards. Pest management and economic models suggest that an area-wide approach across all ownerships, including surveillance for early detection, treatment of ash trees with systemic insecticides, and removal of infested ash trees, yields the greatest benefits at the lowest costs. In this talk, Bob Haight will present research on the economics of area-wide strategies in Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan region, the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the state of New Jersey. The key findings for resource managers are:
- Surveillance for early detection of infested trees pays off. Waiting to apply surveillance and management risks the buildup of the EAB population causing more damage and economic loss.
- Once surveillance identifies infested trees, cost-effective actions include treating newly infested trees and removing highly infested trees. If the budget is limited, treating newly infested trees is the priority.
- For risk averse managers who want to minimize the risk of overwhelming ash mortality, the cost-effective strategy is to monitor and remove ash trees in the vicinity of infestations.
- Cooperation among city governments and private landowners can increase benefits for all.