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Minn. ready to award grants for fighting ash borer

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Emerald ash borer
An emerald ash borer.
File photo

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is expected to announce next month who will get grant money to fight the spread of the emerald ash borer.

The Forest Protection Reserve Grants are going to local governments and other entities to prepare for the spread of the destructive ash borer, which has been discovered in Minnesota within the last year. A separate grant program is assisting entities that have documented infestations.

The state Agriculture Department says the tree-killing pest is a threat to the state's 900 million ash trees.

The maximum preparedness grants are $100,000. Applicants had to demonstrate an ability to match a portion of the grant. The expectation is that all grants will be spent by May 2011.