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Hunters Reminded of Newer Firewood Restrictions
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 11/09/2018

If you're heading north to a wood-heated cabin for deer hunting this year, be sure to leave your firewood at home and buy at a place more local. That's according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, which reminds hunters that firewood can carry pests and diseases that can destroy trees.

"Gypsy moth and emerald ash borer are two of the most destructive pests in North America," says Brian Kuhn, DATCP's director of the Plant Industry Bureau. "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. Emerald ash borers attack only ash in Wisconsin, but ash provides wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits and is one of our highest-value woods. Our ash resource accounts for many of our timber exports, employs many of our citizens, and is culturally important to Native American tribes."

Hardwood firewood cannot be carried legally from counties quarantined for gypsy moth to non-quarantined areas. Fifty counties in Wisconsin are quarantined for gypsy moth.

Even though all of Wisconsin is under quarantine for emerald ash borer, Kuhn says his agency has not detected the insect in the majority of the state's forests. Moving firewood to these areas could accelerate the spread of emerald ash borer to uninfested areas.

Meanwhile 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.

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