1 ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE OUTBREAK

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1 1 THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF YORK REPORT NO. 10 OF THE REGIONAL COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION AND WORKS For Consideration by The Council of The Regional Municipality of York on October 16, ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE OUTBREAK (Regional Council at its meeting on October 16, 2003, amended the foregoing Report with the following further recommendations: 5. The Regional Chair immediately set up a meeting with the Federal Minister of Agriculture and the new Provincial Minister of Natural Resources, involving the City of Vaughan, City of Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, if possible, to: (1) discuss issues around the disposal and quarantine of infested trees; (2) secure the necessary funding approval for an aggressive program of survey, tree removal, disposal and replacement from the Federal and Provincial Governments; 6. Staff be requested to report back to the November 20, 2003 Council meeting on funding for this program; 7. Council immediately set aside $500,000, if appropriate, for any action that is necessary in the meantime, and 8. Staff track all associated costs as in SARS in the event there is recovery for them.)

2 2 1. RECOMMENDATIONS It is recommended that: 1. The Regional Chair be authorized to correspond with the appropriate Federal and Provincial Ministers and agencies, to request appropriate action to deal effectively with the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALHB), as outlined in this report. 2. Staff continue to assist the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with ongoing survey activities, and participate on the Operational Committee and Communications Committee. 3. Copies of this report be sent by the Regional Clerk to all Ontario Municipalities with populations over 50,000, area Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for their support and endorsement. 4. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities be requested to advocate on behalf of municipalities affected and potentially affected. 2. PURPOSE This report is to advise Regional Council of an invasive, non-indigenous insect known as the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALHB) Anoplophora glabripennis. This insect pest was first identified in Canada on September 8, 2003 in the City of Vaughan, and also in the north end of the City of Toronto. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the lead agency responsible for the administration of the Plant Protection Act, and all aspects of the ALHB eradication program. This insect pest poses the most significant threat to the urban forest and forests in Southern Ontario ever. This is a forest health issue of international concern. If not contained, this pest is expected to have a significant environmental, social and economic impact. A presentation regarding this issue was made to Transportation and Works Committee on October 1, 2003 and Committee directed that a report be submitted to Regional Council regarding this matter. 3. BACKGROUND The ALHB is native to Asia and was first detected in North America in Long Island, New York in Subsequent outbreaks have been identified Chicago in 1998, Seattle in

3 3 2000, and New Jersey in All these areas are currently under eradication and control programs. New York and Chicago have spent a combined total of $46,000,000 US to date to combat this pest. A CFIA risk assessment concluded that Canadian hardwood forests are susceptible with high economic, social, and environmental consequences. The ALHB has no natural enemies. 3.1 Asian Longhorned Beetle Biology The beetle has a one to two year life cycle with four stages: egg, larvae, pupae and adult beetle. The beetle can overwinter in Canada as an egg, larvae or pupae. An adult will generally emerge in July, August, and September and live as late as the first frost. Beetles typically spread relatively short distances by flight, although high winds may contribute to longer distances of spread. The greatest risk of spread is where people act as vectors eg. when infested wood is transported by vehicle over long distances, such as during the transport of firewood. The majority of Canadian broadleaf trees are at risk from this insect, including all species of maple, elm, ash, poplars, alder, arbutus, willow and possibly some fruit trees. The ALHB kills host trees through larvae feeding within the trunk and limbs of trees, and eventually riddle the tree with holes, causing them to die. Evergreen or coniferous trees are not attacked by this beetle. 3.2 Distribution and Survey Work Since the insect was positively identified on September 8, 2003 in Woodbridge, CFIA have been leading survey work to determine the extent of the introduction and damage. It is hoped that this survey work will conclude in the next few weeks. The current extent of the infestation is within a six km squared area with two satellite areas in the south end of Vaughan and the north end of Toronto (Council Attachment 1). It is likely that the insect has been present for four to six years. Once the extent of the infestation is understood, a more detailed inventory and survey will be undertaken to document infested trees. The eradication and control program will be implemented concurrent with this stage of the program. Eradication will likely involve the cutting down of infested trees, and also cutting down potential host trees within 300 metres of an infested tree. This wood will have to be chipped and then burnt or composted. There is no registered pesticide in Canada to control the ALHB. There is a significant risk that the beetle will continue to spread throughout and beyond York Region in the absence of rigorous control programs. 3.3 Role of Federal and Provincial Agencies The CFIA is the federal agency responsible for regulating introduced Forestry or Agriculture pests. CFIA has the responsibility for surveillance, declaration of quarantine zones, control and eradication of pests. There is a federal "Emergency Pest Eradication Plan for the Asian Long-Horned Beetle" (Council Attachment 2). Implementation of this plan involves the co-ordination of the National Emergency Management Team and an

4 4 Area Response Team working with local authorities and municipalities. York Region Forestry staff are represented on the Operational Subcommittee and Regional communications staff are on the Communications Subcommittee. There is a science subcommittee which provides science and technology transfer to the operational activities. The CFIA have set up an Asian Longhorned Beetle hot line, and all public enquiries should be directed to this number ( ). They have also established an informative website, which is a valuable resource for the public at Under the Plant Protection Act, the Federal Government can establish quarantines, provide inspection, enter private properties to detect quarantined pests, and require that infested material be destroyed. Technically, they can require the person who has ownership of a property to have the infested material destroyed at the owners expense. In the past, the Federal government has passed specific regulations under the Plant Protection Act to help defray the costs of tree removals, chipping, stump grinding, and disposal should such measures be necessary. In general, it has been a policy of the CFIA to seek to share costs for the eradication or control programs with the other Federal government departments or agencies, Provincial government and other affected stakeholders. 4. ANALYSIS AND OPTIONS Much of the forest cover, including the urban forest, is vulnerable to this insect. Susceptible broadleaf trees are an important part of the forest fabric of York Region. Studies in the Toronto area have indicated 50% of the urban trees are highly vulnerable to the ALHB. The loss of any significant portion of our Regional or urban forest would be environmentally, socially and economically devastating. The current extent of the infestation already involves thousands of trees which will require millions of dollars for removal, disposition and replacement activities. 4.1 Impact to Trees and Forests in York Region York Region has over 39,000 ha of diverse forest. More than 50% of this natural heritage feature is vulnerable to the ALHB. Much of the 2,108 ha York Regional Forest would also be susceptible to this insect. Also at risk in our urban forest are our street trees, residential trees, parklands, conservation and recreation areas. 4.2 Responsibilities for Eradication Programs The CFIA has the primary mandate in the enforcement and administration of the Plant Protection Act and associated Regulations. In general, it has been a policy of the CFIA to seek to share costs for the eradication or control programs with the Provincial government and other affected stakeholders. For example, since spring 2000, the CFIA

5 5 has collaborated with the Canadian Forestry Service (CFS) and the Regional Municipality of Halifax to implement the brown spruce longhorned beetle eradication program. The Memorandum of Understanding between these groups provides for CFIA and CFS to pay the total cost of surveys, research and tree removal. Halifax provides logistical/technical support in surveys, mapping, accommodation and staffing, and they participate in the task force. For this insect pest, the estimated total investment in eradication efforts has been $7-10 million. The CFIA has not yet indicated that they would be taking the responsibility to fund the cost of removing infested or dead trees. The CFIA mission statement refers to a mandate of preventing the introduction and spread of regulated pests into Canada. It is imperative that the CFIA fulfil their mandate. Delays associated with developing administrative policies such as quarantines should not reduce their responsibility for reimbursement of municipal costs associated with implementing immediate action in the event of new infestations being detected. York Region and affected area municipalities should continue to support the survey and eradication efforts, and track all expenditures associated with this activity. The Region should request that the federal Minister of Agriculture make funding available to both accelerate the survey work, determine a disposal and quarantine location, and advance the removal and replacement of infested trees. 4.3 Regional Management Strategy Regional Forestry staff are taking the following steps to support the CFIA and contribute to the emergency situation: Regional Forestry staff are assisting CFIA field surveys and inventory, and will support eradication efforts where possible. Coordinate support of municipal partners in survey work and information transfer. Support communications efforts (update web site, press releases, open houses etc.). Restrict movement of yard waste. Quarantine vegetation from Regional construction and maintenance activities. Staff participation in CFIA Operational subcommittee and Communications subcommittee (CFIA, York Region, Toronto, Vaughan, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority). Conduct a street tree health assessment (Fall 2003) as part of our street tree inventory for Regional ROWs. This information was of value to assist with the delineation survey work.

6 6 4.4 Regional Communications Strategy It is proposed that the Region follow up with the following communication recommendations: 1. The Regional Chair be authorized to correspond with the appropriate Federal and Provincial Ministers and agencies, to request appropriate action to deal effectively with the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALHB), as outlined in this report. 2. Copies of this report be sent by the Regional Clerk to all Ontario Municipalities with populations over 50,000, area Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for their support and endorsement. 4.5 Relationship to Vision 2026 Vision 2026 includes the following goal statements: "In 2026, York Region residents will continue to value and embrace the Region's unique natural heritage (land, air, water) and cultural heritage (sites and buildings important to our history, faiths and cultures)." The Regional Municipality of York has demonstrated a leadership role in the development and implementation of environmental strategies and conservation activities which protect and restore our sustainable natural environment. Taking a lead role in terms of dealing with the outbreak of the Asian Longhorned Beetle infestation strengthens the Region's commitment to focus on Vision 2026 action areas including: Protecting sensitive features such as forests, watersheds, the Oak Ridges Moraine and Lake Simcoe. Promoting a permanent linked greenlands system. 5. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS Forestry staffing resources (two staff per day three to four days per week) have already been assigned to assist the CFIA on an ongoing basis for this serious issue. This workload was not recognized in the 2003 budget or work plan. Financial implications such as assisting with the survey and eradication work, completing the street tree inventory and enhancing our public communications role around this issue will be included in the proposed 2004 work plan and budget. It is likely that the survey, further monitoring, control and eradication may be part of an ongoing work plan for many years. The Regional commitment and resourcing will be tracked and evaluated on an ongoing basis. Additional funds may need to be identified to remove dead and dying trees and implement tree replacement.

7 7 6. LOCAL MUNICIPAL IMPACT The ALHB poses an immediate issue for the City of Vaughan, and is of concern to all adjacent urban and rural communities. Regional Forestry staff will work closely with municipal staff ensuring open communications and sharing of technical information on the subject. Transportation and Works Forestry section will provide a one window for the dissemination of information on the subject. 7. CONCLUSION The introduction of the ALHB to York Region and the City of Toronto will result in devastating losses to urban forests and forest ecosystems in Ontario. It is costly to support a full eradication program, but the alternative economic losses that will result from the lack of timely and effective action are significant. Action is needed to urge the CFIA to increase the survey activities, locate a disposal site, initiate tree removal and identify tree replacement responsibilities to effectively deal with this exotic pest. Regional Forestry staff are continuing to take steps to be vigilant and deal with the spread of the ALHB. Initiatives to raise the overall awareness and help ensure that both Federal and Provincial agencies dedicate the necessary resources and take appropriate action are critical at this time. The Senior Management Group has reviewed this report. Respectfully submitted, October 15, 2003 Newmarket, Ontario K. Schipper Commissioner of Transportation and Works ( was adopted, as amended, by Regional Council at its meeting on October 16, 2003.)

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