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Firewood restriction in effect on state land

With the recent find of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Winona County and the city of La Crescent, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds campers that only firewood purchased at a state park or from a DNR-approved vendor may be brought onto any DNR-administered lands.

This is to prevent the spread of forest pests such as EAB, which can catch a ride to new locations when infested firewood is moved.

"Minnesota is a prime target for EAB, with nearly 1 billion ash trees," said Susan Burks, DNR invasive species program coordinator. "Remember, the best firewood is local firewood. Help stop the movement of forest pests."

Minnesotans should take the following steps to keep EAB and other forest pests from spreading.

• don't bring firewood along on a camping trip

• buy wood locally from an approved vendor

• leave extra firewood onsite and don't bring it home.

For a list of approved firewood vendors, visit the DNR website.  The receipt supplied by the approved vendor must be retained as proof of purchase.

Visitors bringing unapproved firewood onto DNR-administered lands, including wood brought from home, must surrender it and may be subject to a $100 fine. More firewood information is available online.

Those camping on state forest land outside of a designated campground may gather dead wood on the ground for campfire use on-site. In state parks and designated campgrounds in state forests, visitors are prohibited from scavenging dead wood.

EAB in Minnesota

In 2009, EAB was found in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul. In 2010, it was found in the Prospect Park East River Road neighborhood of Minneapolis and the Upper Mississippi River Fish and Wildlife Area of Houston County. This year, EAB was found in the cities of Shoreview and La Crescent, along with Great River Bluff State Park in Winona County.

To slow the spread of EAB, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has quarantined Hennepin, Houston, Ramsey and Winona counties. Movement of the following items is prohibited out of these quarantined counties:

• firewood from hardwood trees

• 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 1 inch in two of three dimensions.

Details of the quarantine can be found online.

EAB Background

While EAB spreads slowly on its own, it can move long distances when people transport firewood or other wood products infested with the larvae.

EAB is an invasive beetle that attacks and kills ash trees. Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and cutting off the tree's supply of water and nutrients. Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 15 states and Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

More information about EAB is available online at www.dnr. mn. state. us.