Minnesota is slated to receive federal aid to help battle the emerald ash borer, a beetle that has infected dozens of trees, Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced this week.
Klobuchar, who serves on the Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide an estimated $771,250 in funding to help Minnesota in the fight to save trees across the state. The beetle is usually fatal to ash trees.
Of that amount, approximately $750,000 will go towards critical survey and reconnaissance work and $21,250 will be available for the cutting down of infected trees.
"With the recent discovery of Emerald Ash Borer, it is vital that we do everything possible to stop the spread of this potentially devastating infestation," Klobuchar said in a statement. "The quick approval of federal help is critical to our efforts to stop this fast-spreading bug."
Earlier this week, inspectors with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said they've located 59 trees with the beetle. The infected trees are all within a half mile of the initial discovery in St. Paul.
In May, the state Department of Agriculture issued a risk assessment indicating that 40 percent of Minnesota is at risk from the emerald ash borer. The state is home to more than 900 million ash trees, the second highest concentration in the country behind Maine.