Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Consider certified wood for your camping trip this weekend

Weekly News Article Published: August 27, 2013 by the Central Office

MADISON -State properties are working hard this season to help everyone do their part and avoid spreading harmful forest insects and diseases.

"Insect pests such as emerald ash borer and gypsy moth and diseases like oak wilt and Dutch elm disease can spread easily by hiding in your firewood bundle and hitching a ride with you to your destination," said Andrea Diss-Torrance, forest health specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "Collectively, these invasive species have already killed millions of urban and forest trees in Wisconsin."

State properties that sell firewood have only two types of firewood for purchase:

  • Wisconsin certified firewood (exit DNR), which has been processed to be free of invasive pests and diseases that harm our trees, or
  • Firewood from the property itself

"This helps to reduce the spread of invasive species to our public lands," said Diss-Torrance.

Although Wisconsin has found many new emerald ash borer attacks this summer, there are still more places in the state without the pest, as far as we know. It is important that everyone do their part to keep it that way for as long as possible.

People who are camping at a state property this holiday should consider buying firewood where they will burn it.

At the very least, all travelers should follow quarantine rules [PDF] (exit DNR) to help protect Wisconsin's trees and to avoid fines. Second homeowners are advised not to move firewood long distances between their properties, to reduce the risk to their trees. The only exception is firewood Certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection because it is free of invasives. Certified wood is free to move around the state and is labeled with a certified number. The current year and one of three treatments will be listed on the label to tell you that the wood has either been seasoned for two years, debarked, or heat treated. A list of certified dealers [PDF] (exit DNR) is available online at emeraldashborer.wi.gov (both links exit DNR).

To help protect the health of public land we all share in Wisconsin, firewood is only allowed to be brought onto state managed properties if it is:

  1. from within 25 miles of the property, AND
  2. from within Wisconsin, AND
  3. from outside an area quarantined for emerald ash borer (unless the property is also in the same or a connected quarantined area).
  4. OR
  5. Certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Most state parks and forests have local firewood available for sale on site or from sellers nearby the property. To check availability, contact the property. Contact information is online. Visit dnr.wi.gov and search "parks". Many federal, county and private campgrounds also restrict firewood on their properties. Call for details before you travel.

For more details about firewood in Wisconsin visit dnr.wi.gov and search the keyword "firewood" or call 1-877-303-WOOD (9663).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Robinson Klug, DNR Forest Health Educator, (608) 266-2172 or Andrea Diss-Torrance, DNR Forest Health Specialist, (608) 264-9247