Dutch Elm Disease

Res #: 19-11A
Number: 19
Year: 2011
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is spreading in southern Saskatchewan; and

WHEREAS the removal of infected elm trees is critical in slowing the spread of DED; and

WHEREAS prior to 2010, the Provincial Government arranged for and paid for the removal of trees infected with DED in six rural municipal buffer zones; and

WHEREAS in 2010, landowners with infected trees were expected to pay the cost of removing trees with DED; and

WHEREAS the removal of mature trees in farm yards can be a dangerous and costly process (due to power lines and buildings, etc.); and

WHEREAS in 2010, 58 rural properties were identified as having 130 DED infected elm trees and only five trees were removed by the landowners in the buffer zones;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM urge the Government of Saskatchewan to resume the responsibility of arranging for and paying the costs associated with the removal of elm trees infected with Dutch Elm Disease in the six identified buffer zones surrounding the communities of Estevan, Regina, Moose Jaw, Indian Head, Fort Qu’Appelle and Tisdale.

Response from Honourable Dustin Duncan, Minister of Environment:

Early in 2011, the Ministry of Environment continued to explain to land owners and municipalities the importance of removing elms infected with Dutch elm disease (DED). By early March, land owners had only removed approximately 20 per cent of the identified elms. Due to the recent transition of responsibility for DED control from the province to municipalities and land owners, the ministry arranged, on a one-time basis, to have the remaining elms removed at public expense. By continuing to identify infected elms in buffer zones, the ministry is confident that land owners and municipalities will take responsibility
for protecting the value of remaining elms.