DUMMERSTON, Vt. (AP) -- A conservation commission in a southern Vermont town is looking for signs of a destructive beetle that's targeted ash trees in neighboring New Hampshire and New York and other states.
The Dummerston Conservation Commission is surveying ash trees for the emerald ash borer, after receiving a $500 University of Vermont grant.
Members are concerned that the beetle could spread to Vermont and decimate the state's ash stands, the Brattleboro Reformer reported (http://bit.ly/1bI41RH ). Larvae feed in the cambium between the bark and wood, which eventually kills branches and trees, the newspaper reported.
"The issue is the safety along the roads, and what would the town be responsible for if there was an ash-borer infestation," said commission member Lynn Levine.
The beetle, a native of China, has not yet been detected in Vermont. It was first discovered in Michigan in 2002 and has been found in 22 states, including in Concord, New Hampshire; Dalton, Massachusetts; New York's Hudson Valley; and in Carignan, Quebec.
The ash borer "is all around us," Levine said. "It probably is here, but it hasn't been detected."