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FOREST PESTS Tree-killing invasives on the move in the Ceded Territory By Steve Garske ANA Forest Invasives Project Coordinator OdanahWis.Invasiveinsects anddiseasesliketheemeraldashborer EAB and the oak wilt fungus are on the move in the Ceded Territory leaving dead trees and diminished forests in their wake. Ojibwe elders have told us that these beings are not bad nor evil but are simply doing what the Creator intendedthemtodo.Whetherthrough greed disregard for aki earth or plain old carelessness people have messed up by bringing these beings from far-away lands. Its up to us to try and minimize the damage. Many forest invasives are dif- ficult to detect especially in the early stages of infestation. The EAB is a good examplethe small green beetles are around for only a couple months in summer spending most of their time high in the canopy of an ash tree. Knowing the signs and symptoms of EAB infestation can help ash harvesters detect an infes- tation even when the beetles arent around. Oak wilt has the potential to decimate the Ceded Territorys oak forests. This fungal disease is deadly to oaks in the red oak group including northern red oak pin oak and black oak. The sad thing is that long-distance spread of oak wilt is almost entirely due to people mov- ing infested oak logs and firewood. This disease is very controllable IF people would stop moving infested oak logs and firewood to uninfested areas. Other introduced invasives like the balsam woolly adelgid BWA hemlock woolly adelgid HWA and Asian longhorned beetle ALB are currently not known to inhabit the Ceded Territory. Early detection of several HWApopulations in Lower Michigan transported on nursery trees illegally shipped from out east allowed the Michigan Department of Agriculture to act quickly and eliminate them. Several infestations of theALB a voracious wood-boring beetle with a love for maple have been eliminated at the cost of thousands of trees and millions of dollars. Eradication efforts continue at remaining ALB sites in southern Ohio Massachusetts Toronto and the New York area. Most tribal harvesters are aware of the gifts provided by healthy forests and the risk posed by the EAB and other invasives. Black ash harvesters have expressed concern not only for the potential loss of ash and the skills associated with weaving baskets but the stories traditions and spirituality that goes with this activity as well. They worry that even if black ash can be brought back someday the opportunity to pass this knowledge down to their children and grandchildren will be lost forever. With the help of tribal harvesters GLIFWC staff have put together flyers and other information to help harvesters identify forest invasives and recognize the signs of infestation. This information is intended to help tribal harvesters once again become co-managers of Ceded Territory forests. So keep an eye out for a mailing from GLIFWC that includes helpful informa- tion on protecting forest resources. Tribal members that have applied for Miscel- laneous Forest Product and Camping permits for the 201415 and 201516 seasons should be receiving details in the mail in the coming weeks. This information will also be available at tribal registration stations. And watch for an updated forest invasives website this fall as well. Early detection can translate into slower spread of the EAB which means that ash stands stay healthy longer and tribal members will have less trouble accessing ash for baskets and other uses. Slowing the EAB also allows time to find ways to reduce the impact of this insect. Detecting and reporting oak wilt infestations early means they can be controlled or even eradicated. By slowing the spread of the EAB and delaying or preventing the influx of other forest invasives into the Ceded Territories tribal members can hopefully continue to harvest trees for firewood medicine income and ceremonial purposes for many years to come. Slowing or preventing the spread of these invasives will also help to maintain the health of the forests and the wildlife plants and other beings that live there. Dying ash tree in Superior Wisconsin showing the typical symptoms of EAB infestation. GLIFWC photo These pin oak trees will soon succumb to the oak wilt fungus. Inset Oak wilt causes trees to drop their leaves in summer. The shallow cup shape of many of the leaves is one characteristic of oak wilt. GLIFWC photos Black ash baskets are as useful and durable as they are beautiful. These were made by Bad River member April Stone-Dahl and her husband Jarrod. GLIFWC photo Tribal members who have applied for Miscellaneous Forest Product and Camping permits for this year andor last year should be receiving these flyers in the mail. GLIFWC photo dontmovefirewood.org MAZINAIGAN PAGE 6 WINTER 2015-16