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Wisconsin may scale back efforts to control Emerald Ash Borer

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Wisconsin might scale back its effort to fight the tree-killing emerald ash borer, and do more to control other invasive plants and animals. On Wednesday the state Natural Resources Board will consider a package of new strategies which include restrictions on almost 100 foreign species. The emerald ash borer would be downgraded from a "prohibited" status to "restricted."

D-N-R pest specialist Andrea Diss-Torrance says most communities fighting the wood-hungry beetle are now working to manage the pest instead of trying to eradicate it by cutting down ash trees. That's how widespread the ash borer has become. It's now in 19 Wisconsin counties.

The D-N-R's package would also prohibit 50 other invasive species for the first time. They include the "killer algae" seaweed from the Mediterranean, and killer shrimp from eastern Europe. 32  species would be added to the restricted list -- including a couple that are popular in landscaping. Seventeen plants which are sold at nurseries would be among those affected. Stores would get 3-to-5 years to sell out their current inventories.

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