WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
TRADE AND CONSUMER PROTECTION
The state of Wisconsin department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection hereby adopts the following emergency rule to amend s. ATCP 21.10 (1) (b) and to create s. ATCP 21.10 (1) (c), relating to the quarantine of Taylor County for the gypsy moth.
Analysis Prepared by the Department
of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
This emergency rule creates a quarantine for Taylor County for the gypsy moth (“GM”). Under this rule, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (“DATCP”) quarantines Taylor County to restrict the movement of GM from generally infested areas to other areas of Wisconsin and to other states.
DATCP is adopting this temporary emergency rule pending the adoption of a parallel federal regulation to quarantine Taylor County. This emergency rule will take effect immediately upon publication in the official state newspaper, and will remain in effect for 150 days. The Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules may extend the emergency rule for up to 120 additional days.
Explanation of Statutory Authority
DATCP has broad general authority, under s. 93.07 (1), Wis. Stats., to adopt regulations to enforce laws under its jurisdiction. DATCP also has broad general authority under ss. 93.07 (12) and 94.01, Wis. Stats., to adopt regulations to prevent and control plant pest infestations. Under s. 94.01 (1), Wis. Stats., DATCP may adopt rules establishing quarantines or other restrictions on the importation into, or movement of, plants or other materials within this state, if these measures are necessary to prevent or control the spread of injurious plant pests. A quarantine order may prohibit the movement of any pest, or any plant, pest host or pest-harboring material, which may transmit or harbor a pest. DATCP is adopting this temporary emergency rule under authority of s. 227.24, Wis. Stats., pending the adoption of federal regulations on the same subject.
Gypsy moth is a highly destructive insect pest of approximately 500 species of trees and shrubs. This insect has the potential to defoliate entire stands of forest, shade, and commercial trees such as nursery stock and Christmas trees. Any infestation of GM can result in substantial losses both to forest ecosystems and to urban trees, as well as to Wisconsin’s vital tourism and timber industries. In the United States, GM has defoliated an estimated 30 million forest hectares since 1970, and has cost millions of dollars annually in losses to the timber and nursery industries and local municipalities.
DATCP conducts annual trapping surveys for Lymantria dispar, the gypsy moth (GM). The 2014 survey in Taylor County showed that current and projected GM populations there have reached the threshold level to trigger implementation of further regulatory measures. Since 2013, multiple trap sites in Taylor County have caught over 100 individual moths, with an average trap count of 19 in 2014. These counts represent a six-fold increase from 2011. The survey data indicate that reproducing populations of GM now exist at significant levels in Taylor County. Eradication is no longer feasible; targeted area treatments were last applied in 2013, and no further treatments are planned for Taylor County. These findings support the need for a quarantine to limit GM movement and to prevent the artificial spread of this infestation.
This emergency rule creates a DATCP quarantine for Taylor County. Gypsy moth quarantines created by this rule are part of an overall state strategy to prevent and control plant pest infestations, including GM infestations. A parallel federal quarantine will be enacted approximately six to eight weeks after a formal submission by the state plant regulatory official.
Emergency Rule Content
Under this emergency rule, movement of all logs, timbers, and firewood of any type, plus movement of any woody nursery stock or Christmas trees out of Taylor County is prohibited with certain exceptions. The emergency rule will do the following:
Create a quarantine for GM for Taylor County that prohibits the movement of all trees, woody shrubs, cut Christmas trees, logs, pulpwood, slabwood, firewood or wood chips out of Taylor County or any contiguous GM quarantined counties
Prohibit any common carrier from transporting any used outdoor household item out of Taylor County or any contiguous GM quarantined counties.
Provide an exemption for articles that have been inspected and certified by a pest control official or trained inspector and are accompanied by a written certificate issued by that official or inspector.
Provide an exemption for businesses that enter into a state or federal compliance agreement. The compliance agreement describes in detail what a company can and cannot do with regulated articles.
Summary of Factual Data and Analytical Methodologies
Data for this analysis was obtained from DATCP nursery license records, local business directories and field surveys of the wood products industry (e.g. timber, lumber, firewood) in the area. This analysis was based on the regulatory language of s. ATCP 21.10 and 7 CFR 301.45, on the observations of DATCP nursery inspectors, and on conversations with stakeholders in the nursery and other timber-related industries.
Analysis and Supporting Documents used to Determine Effect on Small Business
DATCP searched its nursery license database to obtain current records for licensed nursery growers and dealers operating in Taylor County. Based on previous and ongoing work with Wisconsin’s gypsy moth and firewood certification programs, DATCP staff also identified known sawmills, loggers, wood products companies and firewood industry concerns. Finally, online Yellow Pages business listings were also searched to find related tree nursery, timber, firewood and tree service companies.
This emergency rule may have an impact on persons or companies that deal in any nursery stock, hardwood firewood or timber materials in Taylor County. The affected businesses are all small businesses. This emergency rule restricts the sale or distribution of nursery trees, Christmas trees, timber and raw wood products plus any hardwood firewood from Taylor County to locations outside of this county or any contiguously quarantined counties, and to neighboring states.