Aug 1, 2013


July 31, 2013

Contact: Jessi Lyons
Natural Resources Team Coordinator
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County
315-424-9485 ext. 233


Local, state and federal efforts to achieve early detection of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Onondaga County have proven worthwhile with the discovery of the beetle in the Town of Dewitt. Experts from the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have confirmed the presence of EAB on a purple prism trap used on July 29, 2013. Experts from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell Cooperative Extension volunteers and staff will be surveying the surrounding area to determine the geographic extent of the infestation.

Emerald ash borer EAB is a small invasive green beetle that infests and kills all species of ash (Fraxinus) trees. EAB has been in the US since the mid-1990s and was likely introduced through wood packing material in Michigan where it was discovered in 2002. The first discovery in New York was in 2009 in Randolph, Cattaraugus County. It has since been found in 15 other counties in New York. Ash trees are commonly found as street trees, along roadsides, and in yards and forests throughout the region. Ash comprises roughly 13% of all trees in Onondaga County.

The Onondaga County Emerald Ash Borer Task Force has been actively working with municipalities and public agencies to prepare for EAB and coordinate management needs since April 2012. The Task Force is comprised of representatives from local agencies, tree commissions, universities, utilities and industry. The mission of the Task Force is to coordinate and facilitate the sharing of information, technology, equipment, policy and contracts in order for all stakeholders in Onondaga County to have a better and less expensive outcome in regard to EAB and ash tree management. 

Experience in the Midwest indicates all ash trees will die unless treated with insecticides.  Dead ash trees will need to be removed to eliminate the risk of tree failure and subsequent property damage or personal injury. Ash trees must be managed carefully in order to slow the spread of the pest throughout the community so we have time to plan and reduce costs associated with EAB. There are state and federal restrictions on the movement of wood materials, with special restrictions on wood contaminated with EAB. It is very important that no firewood be moved from the area because this may spread EAB. Landowners need to know how to properly identify ash trees on their property so they can plan for treatment or removal. Pesticide treatments or tree removals should be conducted by licensed pesticide applicators or certified tree care professionals with liability insurance and local references. Questions about ash tree management options can be directed to Cornell Cooperative Extension at 315-424-9485 or by consulting a certified arborist.

Jul 26, 2013

Lake George Park Commission approves mandatory boat washing and inspection program


The Lake George Park Commission has unanimously voted to create a mandatory boat-washing and inspection program for that Adirondack waterbody. This vote include the affimative vote from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's representative on the Commission. The legislation directs Park Commission staff to draft rules and regulations for the program and submit them to the Commision for final ratification.

The intent of the program is to control invasive species in Lake George by managing one of the largest, most important vectors of transport of aquatic invasive species: species hitchhiking on recreational boats being trailered from waterbody to waterbody.

The crackdown on all trailered boats would be the first of its kind in New York State.

Click here to view the Draft LGPC Regulations to Require Watercraft Inspections for AIS

Jun 27, 2013

Collaborative Effort Launched to Combat Aquatic Invasive Species on Lake George

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) were joined by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Bill Owens, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state and local officials and community groups to launch a collaborative effort to combat aquatic invasive species (AIS), which threaten the ecosystems of New York's lakes and waterways that form the backbone of Upstate New York's tourism industry. The event was held on June 7th in the Lake George region to underscore the joint efforts underway just this year, as New York State's $450,000 commitment toward eradication and prevention on Lake George has been augmented by $50,000 from EPA and at least $250,000 from the local entities.

Under the direction of Governor Cuomo, DEC secured $450,000 to fight invasive species specific to Lake George and to support several initiatives this year, including:

  • Expanding the Lake George Association's boat steward program from May to September to provide additional protection during months when boat traffic is relatively high. The season previously ran from June to August.
  • Developing and implementing a more comprehensive outreach program to local and regional boaters who boat on Lake George on how they can reduce the risk of spreading and introducing invasive species.
  • Increasing patrols by DEC Environmental Conservation Officers and LGPC officers trained in aquatic invasive species spread prevention. These officers will work the launches on a regular required basis.

Click here to read the full DEC press release.