Janesville52.5°

Rock County coalition to combat ash borer

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Frank Schultz
March 20, 2013

— Three Rock County governments are joining forces against a tree-killing beetle, and they’re inviting other municipalities to join them.

The cities of Beloit and Janesville and the town of Turtle made the announcement in a news release Tuesday.

Janesville is the only place the emerald ash borer has been discovered, but experts say the pests threaten all ash trees in the county.

The news release speaks of “potential devastation” from “the green menace.”

The municipalities could share equipment, knowledge, ash wood waste utilization, chemical treatment plans and joint purchase of supplies, according to the news release

Joint training also is a possibility.

“But day to day, we’ll probably be working on our own,” said Mike Birkholz, Turtle highway superintendent.

Birkholz said Turtle has no budget for ash borer suppression except for a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources grant that will help spread awareness of the threat.

The news release quotes Mike Ferger, Beloit forestry operations supervisor, as saying it’s important for everyone in the county, including landscaping companies, to work together.

“Each agency should provide the same information to local residents, so everyone is hearing the same message,” Ferger said.

Other public works departments are invited to join, the news release states.

The partners plan an information booth on May 18 at the city of Beloit Farmers Market.



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