The recent discovery of emerald ash borer (EAB) in a St. Paul neighborhood means that people should no longer pack firewood when making summer camping plans.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Mark Holsten on May 20 issued a revised order dealing with use of firewood on state land. It will be published in the State Register from June 15-28.
Under the new order, only firewood purchased at a state park or from a DNR-approved vendor may be brought onto state land.
More firewood information is available online.
Approved firewood vendors must supply firewood that meets one of the following standards:
* Non-ash firewood originating on lands within Minnesota and within 100 miles of the DNR land on which it is to be used.
* Firewood originating from Minnesota that has been heat-treated in a kiln certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
* Split firewood from Minnesota that is 100 percent debarked according to federal guidelines (removal of bark and outer one-half inch of sapwood).
A list of approved firewood vendors is available online.The receipt supplied by the approved vendor should be retained as proof of purchase.
Unapproved firewood brought to a state-administered campground will be confiscated and the transporter is subject to a $100 fine.
People camping on state forest lands outside of a designated campground may gather dead wood on the ground for campfire use onsite. In state parks and designated campgrounds in state forests, people are prohibited from scavenging dead wood.
The new order specifies that firewood originating from a quarantined county in Minnesota will be approved only for use in that county. Firewood from counties contiguous to quarantined counties in Minnesota will be approved only for use in those counties. Currently, there is a quarantine on firewood, ash trees and ash products in Hennepin, Houston and Ramsey counties.
To slow the spread of EAB, the quarantine prohibits the movement of the following items out of Hennepin, Houston and Ramsey counties:
* Firewood from hardwood (non-coniferous) species.
* Entire ash trees.
* Ash limbs and branches.
* Ash logs or untreated ash lumber with bark attached.
* Uncomposted ash chips and uncomposted ash bark chips greater than one inch in two of the three dimensions.
More information about the quarantine is available online.
While EAB spreads slowly on its own, it can hitch a ride to new areas when people transport firewood or other wood products infested with the larvae.
Officials urge Minnesotans to take steps to keep EAB from spreading:
* Don’t transport firewood, even within Minnesota.
* Don’t bring firewood along on a camping trip.
* Buy the wood you need locally from an approved vendor.
* Don’t bring extra wood home with you.
* Don’t buy or move firewood that came from outside of Minnesota.
Minnesotans should not buy firewood from people selling it door-to-door if the wood originated from outside Minnesota.
EAB is an invasive beetle that attacks and kills ash trees. Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and cutting off the tree’s supply of nutrients. Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed millions of ash trees in 12 states and Ontario, Canada.
With more than 900 million ash trees, Minnesota is a prime target for EAB.
More information about EAB is available online.