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Bozeman forestry dept. seeks funding for invasive species

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BOZEMAN, Mont. - The emerald ash tree makes up more than half of all trees in Bozeman. The city's forestry department is asking for additional funding to protect it from the emerald ash borer, an invasive species moving across the country.

The pest has already killed trees from the midwest to the east coast. Bozeman's city forester, Alex Nordquest, says if the emerald ash borer arrives, it could be devastating.

"It can transport quickly through shipping containers, individuals coming into town or in contaminated firewood. We're really just trying to work proactively and have a management plan," Nordquest said.

Nordquest is asking city commissioners for a 15-percent increase in its budget to develop a management plan to prepare for this pest. That increase would be funded by increased tax dollars for property owners.

City commissioners will have to approve a final budget by the end of June. It will go into effect July 1.

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