The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Plant Health Program and the Maine Forest Service have announced a proposed update to the current state administered quarantine for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). EAB is an invasive forest pest with a heightened preference for the culturally significant black or brown ash trees, the principal building material for baskets produced by Wabanaki Tribal Artisans. On March 15th, a Public hearing was held by the Maine Forest Service to hear public comment and testimony about the proposed changes. A number of concerned Tribal Citizens and natural resource staff were present for the meeting and shared concerns about how relaxing the quarantine parameters and boundaries, as proposed in two of the updated quarantine options, would be problematic to the ongoing efforts of Wabanaki Tribal Nations in sustaining brown ash trees on the landscape. The viewpoints shared, pointed to the use of brown ash trees by Tribal basket makers and its connection to the cultural identity of the Wabanaki people. The proposed changes are anticipated to enable the movement of fuel wood to state residence in parts of the state that are currently restricted under the state’s active quarantine. USET’s Forest Adaptation Technical Assistant provided testimony during the public hearing and was quoted by the local news source, WABI-TV, Bangor. Access the news article and segment and view the proposed quarantine changes. The proposed changes are still open for public comment. Written comments may be submitted until 5 PM on April 2to email@example.com or Gary Fish, Maine DACF – Horticulture, 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0028.
May 4th, 2021• • 2 min read