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MADISON – Deer hunters heading out for the gun season, don’t be tempted to haul your firewood from home. It’s sometimes illegal and always a bad idea.
Firewood can carry invasive pests including emerald ash borer and gypsy moth, both insects that can destroy trees.
“Gypsy moth and EAB are two of the most destructive pests in North America,” says Christopher Deegan, chief of the Plant Protection Section of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “Together or separately, they could destroy the forests that deer rely on. Gypsy moths attack a wide range of tree species, so they pose a broad threat. EAB attacks only ash, but in addition to providing wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits, ash wood is a high-value forest product. Wisconsin’s ash resource accounts for many of our timber and lumber exports, and employs many of our citizens.”
Hardwood firewood cannot be carried from counties quarantined for gypsy moth or EAB to non-quarantined areas. Fifty-nine counties in Wisconsin are quarantined for gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, or both. A map showing the quarantined counties is available online at emeraldashborer.wi.gov.
In addition, the Department of Natural Resources prohibits bringing firewood onto state lands from more than 10 miles away, and the U.S. Forest Service prohibits bringing firewood into the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest from more than 25 miles away.
The only exception to these prohibitions is for firewood that has been certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection as having been treated to destroy pests. Certified firewood is clearly labeled. A list of certified firewood dealers is available online at http://datcp.wi.gov/uploads/Plants/pdf/CertifiedFirewoodDealers.pdf. Certified firewood is also often available at convenience stores and other places selling firewood.
• Gather or buy your firewood at your destination.
• Use all the firewood you obtain and don’t take any home with you.
• Consider buying firewood with the DATCP-certified label.