May 24, 2011
MADISON - State forest health specialists remind campers and travelers to leave firewood at home. State managed properties only allow firewood onto the property if the firewood:
This reduces the risk of bringing in destructive forest diseases and insects.
All travelers should also follow state firewood quarantine rules to help protect Wisconsin's trees and to avoid fines.
DNR has maps illustrating a 25 mile radius from Wisconsin state campgrounds available online. Many federal, county and private campgrounds also restrict firewood on their properties. Call ahead for details before you travel. Second homeowners are strongly encouraged not to move firewood long distances between their properties, to reduce the risk to their trees.
"Invasive species threaten the health of our forests," said Andrea Diss-Torrance, DNR forest health specialist. "Insect pests such as emerald ash borer and gypsy moth and diseases like oak wilt and Dutch elm disease spread to new areas easily in firewood. Collectively, these invasive species have already killed millions of trees in Wisconsin."
Wood from vendors certified by the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection may enter any state property regardless of where the wood was harvested. This is because to be certified, vendors must treat their wood to kill pests or diseases that might be within it. For a list of certified vendors go to [www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov] (exit DNR) and select the link to Wisconsin Certified Firewood Dealers under "Featured Items." For more information on the certification program and how to become a certified vendor, visit the "Firewood Regulations" page of the website [datcp.wi.gov/Plants/Firewood/Firewood_Dealer_Certification] (exit DNR).
People planning to camp in a Wisconsin state park or forest this year, or planning to visit their own vacation property, should get firewood locally, advise DNR property managers. Most Wisconsin state parks and forests have local firewood available for sale on site or from vendors nearby the property. Using local firewood helps to ensure the health of the parks and forests that are so much a part of living in Wisconsin. To learn more about firewood availability at your destination, contact them directly. A list of phone numbers for parks is available on the Wisconsin State Parks web page www.wiparks.net.
"A campsite surrounded by healthy, mature trees is basic to a quality camping experience, and so is having a campfire." says Diss-Torrance. "If we are going to enjoy both, we need to take some precautions to prevent introducing invasive pests and diseases to the parks and forests we love the most. By using wood from trees grown nearby, you help to prevent such introductions."
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