Ariél Zangla reports in the Daily Freeman
that the state Department of Environmental Conservation has lifted the quarantine on the movement of ash wood products in New York, in its fight against the invasive Emerald Ash Borer bug. “The financial cost of the regulations to state government and the forest products industry now outweigh the limited economic benefit of protecting a dwindling ash resource from infestation,” a notice from the DEC read. “Immediate repeal of these regulations will allow the forest products industry and forest landowners to harvest and process ash that is still of high quality.” There is still a regulation that does not allow any ash wood infested with the Emerald Ash Borer to be moved, and against moving firewood more than 50 miles from its source. Ulster and Greene counties have been part of the quarantine zone since 2010, and Dutchess County was added to the list in 2013. The state's 700 million ash trees are in danger from the bugs. “Harvesting this resource before the infestation becomes even more widespread is in the best interest of forest landowners and the forest products industry as infested ash degrades quickly, resulting in decreased economic value and greater risk of personal injury and property damage as infested trees quickly weaken,” the DEC notice said. John Bartow Jr., executive director of the Empire State Forest Products Association, said the quarantine made it more difficult for mills to obtain ash logs. “The demand for ash ... is through the roof right now,” Bartow said. Ash is used in flooring, furniture, and for baseball bats, but once an ash tree dies, it can only be used for firewood. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.