The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has issued an emergency quarantine order to protect against the introduction and spread of the emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive wood-boring beetle that has already killed millions of ash trees in North America. The order was motivated by the removal of federal domestic quarantine regulations by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). "It is important that we remain vigilant and do everything in our power to make sure that the emerald ash borer doesn’t find a way into Montana," said MDA Director Mike Foster. "This quarantine order protects the green ash woodland resources in eastern Montana that provide habitat for many wildlife species as well as economic benefits to livestock producers and rural communities."
Montana’s emergency quarantine order restricts EAB from entering the state in any form, as well as the movement of live ash trees, parts of ash trees capable of harboring live EAB, and any other articles determined potentially hazardous. MDA will accept public comment regarding the quarantine order until February 26, 2021.