Since the discovery of Ohio’s first Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation in 2003, this exotic, invasive species has caused millions of dollars in damage to the state’s wooded ecosystems, residential properties, urban forests, as well as to landscape and nursery businesses. Northwestern Ohio, with its high percentage of ash trees and proximity to the Michigan EAB introduction site, has been especially hard hit.
Requests for assistance from EAB-impacted landowners and communities remains high. An ODNR Division of Forestry survey of communities returned a demand of $11 million from more than 60 communities to provide for ash tree removal and replacement assistance.
In the City of Toledo alone, more than 7,500 ash trees needed to be removed, dramatically impacting the urban right-of-way landscape.
Using congressionally directed funds, the Division of Forestry developed the Western Lake Erie Basin Emerald Ash Borer Program to address the economic and environmental impact to this highly infested region. The four major components of this program involve assistance to private woodland owners, demonstration sites, ash removal grants for homeowners, and grants to communities within the target area.