Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

April 8, 2014

State officials cease efforts to stop advance of ash borer

Ineffective

ASHLAND — Kentucky’s war against the tiny emerald ash borer responsible for already killing more than 25 million ash trees in the eastern United States has ended in surrender — by state officials, not the tiny insect.

State officials say the 30-county wood quarantine  intended to contain the emerald ash borer  has been ineffective. The end of the quarantine means emerald ash borers likely will spread more quickly through Kentucky, agriculture officials said, but they said the state’s efforts to stop the spread have been so ineffective, it was not worth the cost.

Kentucky officials said the federal government has more resources than the state to deal with the problem of the tiny insect which is doing to ash trees what another tiny insect — the pine beetle — did to pine trees throughout the South just a few years ago. The tiny insects have provided yet another reminder that the greatest threat to trees in this country are tiny insects and diseases spread by Mother Nature, not logging done by humans.

The battle against the ash borer will now be left up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because Kentucky is no longer quarantining those 30 counties, the entire state will join a large quarantine zone that includes Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia. Regulated ash-related products can only be moved outside the zone under certain conditions.

The state’s effort to control the ash borer was a noble one, but we commend state officials for not continuing to spend limited state resources on efforts that are not working.

Here’s hoping Uncle Sam’s efforts to stop the spread of a emerald ash borer are more effective than Kentucky’s quarantine. After all, the ash tree is particularly important to at least one small but well-known industry in the state. The Louisville Slugger Museum in downtown Louisville not only is a popular tourist attraction that is well worth visiting, but the wooden bats used by professional baseball, are manufactured there. While ash no longer is the exclusive wood used a for bats, it remains by far the most preferred wood. In fact, Louisville Slugger owns several large ash forests. May the ash borer stay far away from them.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • PAUL CHITWOOD: Ruling on same-sex marriage defies state constitution

    News that U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn once again usurped the will of Kentucky voters is tragic and disappointing. By declaring gay marriage legal in the commonwealth, Heyburn defied the essential, foundational governing document that ensures order and justice, the Constitution of Kentucky.

    July 8, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • Magolene S. Fraley 1929-2014

    Magolene Spears Fraley, 84, of Wurtland, died Saturday in Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland.

    May 17, 2014

  • Business grant

    Morehead State graduate student Kayla Keeton, who received her undergraduate degree from MSU last spring and is now studying for her MBA at the school, has received a $5,111 grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to help her start Belles of the Bluegrass, a high-tech wedding planning business.

    May 16, 2014

  • Recovery Fest celebrates kicking addiction

    The wet weather no doubt impacted the size of the crowd at Saturday’s Recovery Fest 2014 at Veterans Riverfront Park in Ashland, but there were plenty of reasons for addicts who are now drug free to celebrate and for speakers like State Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and others to talk about the impact the prescription drug epidemic has had on this region and for others to distribute literature and offer words of encouragement that could convince some to seek help in their battle with their drug addictions.

    May 13, 2014

  • In Your View 5/13/14

    Letters to the editor:

    May 13, 2014