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Russell Martin, Newton Falls, and other DEC forest technicians have hung 2,500 EAB traps across the North Country.
Russell Martin, Newton Falls, and other DEC forest technicians have hung 2,500 EAB traps across the North Country.

Inside purple boxes, a trap for an invader

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If you've driven almost anywhere in the North Country this summer, you've probably seen those purple boxes hanging by the side of the road. They're traps for an invasive bug that threatens to decimate New York's ash trees, about 8% of the state's forests. The emerald ash borer was found in New York two months ago, in the western New York town of Randolph. Federal and state environment officials destroyed that stand of ash trees. And they've hung more than 5,000 of the purple traps, half in the North Country, to see if they find any more emerald ash borers. So far, they haven't. Russell Martin is a forest technician for the Department of Environmental Conservation. He lives in Newton Falls and he's logged more than 12,000 miles in a Chevy Venture van setting and checking on the purple traps. David Sommerstein joined Martin on an expedition off Route 11 between Canton and Potsdam.

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Martin checks a five week-old trap for signs of the invasive pest.  So far, no new cases have been found.

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