MADISON - A proposal to add more than 80 new species to the list of restricted and prohibited invasive species in Wisconsin is now open for public comment and will be the subject of two public hearings to be held in June. The comment period is open until June 30, 2014.
In April, the state Natural Resources Board approved a request from the Department of Natural Resources to take proposed revisions to the state's invasive species rule, Chapter NR 40 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, to public hearings. Revisions include adding the new species to the list and changing the regulatory status of several species including emerald ash borer for the state.
Currently, the emerald ash borer, a beetle, responsible for the destruction of tens of thousands of ash trees in Wisconsin, is classified as a prohibited species. Under the rule, prohibited species are those that are not widespread in the state and whose spread can be prevented or limited to certain areas using eradication methods. Since the first discovery of EAB in Wisconsin in 2008, and its listing as a prohibited species in 2009, it has spread to 19 counties prompting a proposal to change EAB regulatory status to restricted.
Restricted species are those already found in the state and may be more widespread. Eradication is improbable but the spread can still be managed. Measures to manage the spread of EAB will still be used, such as Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection quarantines and DNR firewood transportation restrictions. Under the proposed revisions to NR 40, possession is not prohibited and control is not required for restricted species.
The proposed rule and supporting documents, including the fiscal estimate, may be viewed and downloaded from the Administrative Rules System website.
The public hearings will be held:
- Tuesday, June 17, Madison - 4 p.m. in the State Natural Resources Building, 101 S. Webster St., Room G09. The public hearing in Madison will be webcasted live for those who are unable to participate in person. To request a webcast link, please contact Terrell Hyde by noon on June 16, 2014 at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-264-9255.
- Wednesday, June 18, Green Bay - 4 p.m. at the DNR Green Bay Service Center, 2984 Shawano Ave., Lake Michigan Room.