Feb 7, 2000
Press Release

NEW YORK - Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's efforts to obtain adequate resources for the fight against the Asian Longhorned Beetle have proven successful. In recent letters to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Craig Reed, Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Maloney urged that additional resources be provided to fight the tree-killing beetle. Today, the Congresswoman commended President Clinton for significantly increasing resources to combat the beetle in his 2001 budget. The President's recently released budget would provide $4.6 million for APHIS and $2.5 million for the U.S. Forest Service to be used primarily for tree inspections, education and research on the beetle, removal of infested trees, and tree replacement programs.

Maloney joined Senators Moynihan and Schumer in praising the administration today, saying, "We must battle this beetle now, and win, so that New York's urban forestry network remains intact and our costs don't skyrocket. So far, New York has lost more than 4000 trees to this fierce insect. My aim has always been the complete eradication of the Asian Longhorned Beetle and the President's budget provides crucial resources toward that end."

Maloney further stated, "The Asian Longhorned Beetle could do more damage than Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight, and gypsy moths, combined. Resources for the fight against beetle infestation are especially important to New York City. The beetle has already devastated large portions of Brooklyn and Queens and has now been found perilously close to Central Park. With new resources, we will be able to fund areas where there have been significant shortfalls. We will be able to train our residents to identify the beetle and respond appropriately if they spot one. We will be able to increase funds for tree inspections, removal, and reforestation efforts. In short, we will battle this menace on all fronts to protect our trees, our environment, and our quality of life."

In January 1997 - when the beetle was first spotted in the United States in Greenpoint, Brooklyn - Congresswoman Maloney immediately called on the Department of Agriculture to fight beetle infestation. Since then, Maloney has held numerous community forums on the issue to raise awareness about the beetle's devastating effects and to discuss strategies for preventing the spread of beetle infestation. In December 1999, Maloney held a tree replacement ceremony in Manhattan where she announced that APHIS would devote additional funds toward efforts to deter the beetle.