Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas  The Asian Longhorned beetle is a serious invasive pest of hardwood trees, including maple, birch and willow, which compose a significant percentage of Massachusetts forest, park and street trees; and

Whereas The emerald ash borer is a serious invasive pest of ash trees, which compose a significant percentage of our forests in the Western part of the state and are valuable street and park trees throughout the Commonwealth; and

Whereas These trees are essential to the prosperity of the Commonwealth, as they sustain the maple sugaring, nursery, tourism, and forest product industries; and

Whereas  The trees of Massachusetts are critical to the health of the Commonwealth, as they provide us with clean air and soil, shelter from sun and wind, and habitat and food for wildlife; and

Whereas The discovery of the presence of a major infestation of Asian Longhorned beetles in the city of Worcester in 2008 and the discovery of an additional small infestation in the city of Boston in 2010 has had a serious negative impact on both cities and surrounding towns, and that these infestations have placed the Commonwealth as well as the entire Northeastern United States on high alert for this pest; and

Whereas The discovery of emerald ash borer in New York, less than 25 miles from the western border of our state, has placed the Commonwealth on high alert for this pest; and

Whereas The difficulty of detecting these invasive forest pests highlights the need to encourage every resident in the Commonwealth to be vigilant and learn to recognize and report sightings of Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer in order to prevent their spread,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim August 2012, to be

Forest Pest Awareness Month   

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this seventeenth day of July, in the year two thousand and twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

By His Excellency                  

Deval L. Patrick                  
Governor of the Commonwealth          

William Francis Galvin               
Secretary of the Commonwealth 

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts