(Neb)-Total Cost Of Emerald Ash Borer In Neb Could Near $1-B
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions from the emerald ash borer, county officials told the legislature's Appropriations Committee on Friday.
The ash borer is originally from Asia and was first identified in the United States in 2002 near Detroit. SInce then, it has killed tens of millions of ash trees so far and threatens to kill most of the 8.7 billion ash trees throughout North America.
It has already been confirmed in 7 eastern Nebraska counties with experts acknowledging they had no way to stop it.
Experts estimate Nebraskans will need to spend nearly $1 billion dollars over the next few decades to remove and replace ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer, but local governments probably won't be able to afford the cost and it's not clear how much help they'll get from the state.
Appropriations Chairman Senator John Stinner of Gering has introduced a legislative study to deal with the issue, but doesn't know whether other lawmakers will make it a priority in next year's session.
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