Scientists are keeping a close watch on unwanted visitor that continues to threaten the region's ash trees.
Since its discovery in southeastern Michigan in 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer has destroyed more than 70 million ash trees by feeding on the inner bark and foliage. The tiny green beetle, which comes from Asia, is spreading quickly throughout the Great Lakes region and is now in the Northeast United States.
Last year the ash borer was discovered in Cattraugus County. Scientists from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse have been tracking the insects' spread and predict it could wipe out the entire ash tree species within 10 to 20 years.
Since the ash borer hitches a ride on wood, the State Department of Environmental Conservation is urging campers not to travel with firewood this summer. This could actually assist the borers in spreading to other parts of the state. Campers are instead asked to purchase or gather firewood at the location of their camp.