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DNR board approves invasive species list adds, relaxes ash borer regulations

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MADISON, Wisconsin — The state Department of Natural Resources' board has given Wisconsin's invasive species list its first update in five years.

The DNR established the list in 2009. It includes about 100 organisms, including the emerald ash borer, zebra mussels and Asian carp.

The agency's board voted 6-0 on Wednesday to add nearly 90 more plants and animals to the list and downgrade the ash borer from a prohibited species to a restricted species. That change means people can't sell or transport the beetle but they can possess it and are no longer required to take steps to eradicate it.

DNR officials say the change represents an acknowledgment that the bug has become established in Wisconsin. They say most municipalities grappling with the beetle have already moved from eradication to management anyway.

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