IDNR Reminds Site Visitors about Firewood Ban
Campers and other visitors are reminded that it is illegal to bring or possess on IDNR properties any firewood from any geographical area where wood exportation has been prohibited by a state or federal quarantine. This ban also applies to wood from any county that is adjacent to any county included in the quarantine area. This restriction is intended to help prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer (EAB), particularly to any state park, fish and wildlife area, conservation area, recreation area, natural area or other property owned or managed by the IDNR. To find out more about EAB and where the current quarantines are located, visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture's website at www.IllinoisEAB.com.
Transporting firewood is one way the emerald ash borer can be spread from areas with infested trees. Quarantines are imposed to prevent infested ash firewood, logs or nursery trees from being transported and starting new infestations.
The US Department of Agriculture also has a quarantine on interstate movement of firewood from the entire state of Illinois; so if you are an Illinois resident, you will not be able to take your firewood to another state without having it certified by the USDA. Regulated articles include ash nursery stock and green lumber; any other ash material including logs, stumps, roots, branches, as well as composted and uncomposted wood chips. Due to the difficulty in distinguishing between species of hardwood firewood, all hardwood firewood, including ash, oak, maple and hickory are regulated articles.
IDNR Encourages On-Site Purchase of Firewood, Alternative Fuels, “Bring-It and Burn-It”
IDNR regulations also bans the sale or distribution of firewood at IDNR sites unless authorized in writing by IDNR. Many state parks offer firewood for purchase through local vendors and concessionaires, you may want to call the site to check what is available. Through these agreements, IDNR will be able to monitor and control the source of firewood.
Visitors may be asked to forfeit firewood by site or campground personnel if it has been brought to state sites from EAB quarantine areas. Consider using alternatives like charcoal and pre-fabricated logs that are available at retail outlets.
Prevention is the only way to contain the spread of the emerald ash borer because no treatments currently exist to cure infested trees. The insect can fly only short distances on its own, so limiting the movement of firewood and other potentially-infested wood products is the single most important step we can take to prevent the introduction of the pest to new areas and protect our state’s ash trees.
What You Can Do To Help
Emerald ash borer is an exotic non-native insect that was first discovered in the U.S. near Detroit, Michigan in 2002, and thought to have been transported from Asia in wood packing material shipped to the U.S. Adult beetles cause some damage to ash trees by eating foliage. The most significant damage is the result of EAB larvae feeding on the inner bark of ash trees, eventually killing the affected trees.
Citizens can help in detecting EAB. The presence of the bug is difficult to detect in newly-infested trees. Watch for beetles of a metallic-green color about half the diameter of a penny on or near ash trees that are showing signs of disease or stress. Signs of the beetles in ash trees also include D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and shoots growing from the base of the tree. Those who suspect EAB should contact their local county Cooperative Extension Service office. For more information on EAB, check the web site at www.emeraldashborer.info.
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