The Natural Resources Board voted to approve revisions to the state’s invasive species rule at their Dec. 10 meeting in Madison.
Known as NR40, revisions include the listing of additional species and delisting of currently regulated species under the state’s Invasive Species Identification, Classification and Control rule of the Wisconsin Admin Code.
“This proposal results from several years of work with stakeholders to develop an approach based on sound science and common sense that meets the department’s charge from the legislature to address invasive species,” says Dreux Watermolen, social science services section chief.
One revision includes changing the status of the Emerald Ash Borer from prohibited to restricted. Currently, the beetle responsible for the destruction of tens of thousands of ash trees in Wisconsin is classified as a prohibited species. Under the rule, prohibited species are those not widespread in the state and whose spread can be prevented or limited to certain areas using eradication methods. Since the first discovery of EAB in Wisconsin in 2008, and its listing as a prohibited species in 2009, it has spread to 19 counties prompting a proposal to change the EAB regulatory status to restricted.
Restricted species are those already found in the state and may be more widespread. Eradication is improbable but the spread can still be managed. Measures to manage the spread of EAB will still be used such as Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection quarantines and DNR firewood transportation restrictions. Under the new revisions to NR 40, possession is legal and control is not required for restricted species.
A list of the new invasive species rule changes and literature reviews are available by going to the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and searching keyword “NR 40.”