State considers permanent ban on ohia transport - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State considers permanent ban on ohia transport

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file) (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - State officials are considering whether an emergency quarantine put into effect last summer to prevent the spread of a fungus that has destroyed thousands of acres of the Big Island's native forests should be a permanent rule.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that the quarantine prohibits transport of ohia from the island as the state continues battling the disease known as rapid ohia death. The Hawaii Board of Agriculture will vote Tuesday on a proposal that would make the ban permanent.

University of Hawaii forester J.B. Friday says transporting ohia wood is particularly risky and that the emergency quarantine is an effective tool for slowing rapid ohia death's spread.

The fungus was first discovered in 2010 and has since affected more than 36,000 acres of ohia trees.

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