BUFFALO, N.Y. – SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER SAYS THAT GOVERNMENT FUNDING IS NECESSARY TO FIGHT THE ASH BORERS THAT ARE DESTROYING TREES IN DELAWARE PARK AND ACROSS THE CITY AND SURROUNDING SUBURBS.
The ash borer burrows into the bark and blocks the trees ability to bring water from the roots. This kills the tree within about two to three years.
These dead trees are a concern. Not only are they a part of the ecosystem and scenery of the area, but they are more likely to fall on houses. Areas like Cheektowaga had to remove nearly 200 trees.
Since arriving in the U.S., the ash borer has killed 50 million Ash trees across the country. Additionally, the treatment of healthy trees is expensive.
Schumer is concerned with the 2,670,752 acres across Upstate new York that are covered in Ash trees.
Programs like these usually lose funding due to the “fire borrowing”, or the shortfalls in the wildfire programs that force the Forest Service to take resources from other programs. The Forest Service had to transfer $700 million from other forest programs to fight wildfires last year.
In order to fight this, Schumer is cosponsoring and pushing the Wildlife Disaster Funding Act of 2015, which would allow the Forest Service to access disaster funding, instead of borrowing from other programs. In turn, this will provide funding relief for the other programs, including the program to eliminate the Ash Borer.
Schumer believes this needs to be prioritized alongside wildfires, due to the growing threat, and combating the aggressive species is only possible by protecting the funding.