The Distructive Effects Of The Emerald Ash Borer
GRCA Maintaining Many Closures Due To Emerald Ash Borer
In order to minimize the hazard tree risks presented by the decline of ash trees due to emerald ash borer (EAB), the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) is maintaining the closure of a number of properties to the public.
The closed properties include the:
- trail at the south end of Wrigley Lake in the Township of North Dumfries;
- small island and adjacent forest in the eastern portion of Byng Island Conservation Area in Dunnville;
- entire property and associated trail at Hosack Tract in the Township of Blandford-Blenheim
- trails on the western half of Apps’ Mill in the County of Brant. (The Cleaver Road parking lot with adjacent access to Whiteman’s Creek will remain open.)
Signage is being posted at each area, and people are asked to respect the closures for their own safety. These closures will remain in place for a minimum of two to four years, until such time as the GRCA is able to address the hazard tree risks in these areas. Long term decisions regarding trails and public access on these properties will be reviewed periodically.
The GRCA is currently maintaining area or trail closures in these specific areas where the number of ash trees is high and public usage is low or moderate. This will allow the GRCA to focus current tree removal resources on areas of higher use and risk and eliminate or defer the demand on hazard tree removal resources.
The decline and loss of ash trees due to emerald ash borer has resulted in significant ecological and financial impacts since 2010, when EAB was first detected in the Grand River watershed. The greatest financial impact for the GRCA is from the required removals of hazard trees on GRCA land, i.e.: dead or declining ash trees that present a risk to people or infrastructure. Between 2014 and the end of 2019 the GRCA has spent $1.9 million to address hazard trees in conservation areas, cottage lots and along recreational trails. An additional $800,000 is budgeted for ash tree hazard removals prior to March 2021.
The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that was first discovered in Ontario in June 2002. It feeds on all ash tree species in Ontario, and causes the decline and eventual loss of these trees. The GRCA’s EAB Strategy includes hazard tree removals, forest management and some treatment of a small portion of ash trees in the watershed.
For more information about the GRCA’s Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Strategy, as well as further details regarding these property closures, at the link below.