Whenever the commissioner finds that an area in the state is infested or threatened to be infested with forest pests or shade tree pests, the commissioner shall determine whether measures of control are needed, what control measures are to be applied, and the area over which the control measures shall be applied. The commissioner shall prescribe a proposed zone of infestation covering the area in which control measures are to be applied and shall publish notice of the proposal once a week, for two successive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in each county located in whole or in part in the proposed zone of infestation. Prescribing zones of infestation and prescribing measures of control are exempt from the rulemaking provisions of chapter 14 and section 14.386 does not apply.
The notice shall include a description of the boundaries of the proposed zone of infestation, the control measures to be applied, and a time and place where municipalities and owners of forest lands or shade trees in the zone may show cause orally or in writing why the zone and control measures should or should not be established. The commissioner shall consider any statements received in determining whether the zone shall be established and the control measures applied.
The commissioner may establish experimental programs for the control of forest pests or shade tree pests and for municipal reforestation.