August 15, 2012
A biologist says the City of Ottawa might have inadvertently created a major environmental problem dealing with the emerald ash borer. The city cut down trees infested with the pest, and then city workers created a pile of ash trunks, about the size of a football field and five metres high. Biologist Burt van Ingen says the beetles soon began flying from the site, hitching rides from trucks moving in and out of the dump.

“They go for a nice long ride. And when they get the opportunity, away they go,” said van Ingen.

The city is hoping to sell the ash for lumber, which spokespeople say is potentially worth millions of dollars.

Van Ingen said he thinks some of the damage is already done.

Ash makes up about a quarter of the forest cover in Ottawa.