Take precautions with firewood transportation
BISMARCK, N.D. -- With cold temperatures and falling snow comes an increase in the use of firewood across North Dakota. The Department of Agriculture wants the public to know the potential dangers of moving firewood into the Dakotas from out of s...
BISMARCK, N.D. - With cold temperatures and falling snow comes an increase in the use of firewood across North Dakota. The Department of Agriculture wants the public to know the potential dangers of moving firewood into the Dakotas from out of state.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring in a statement said firewood donations have arrived at Standing Rock Reservation's anti-Dakota Access Pipeline camps from places as far away as Missouri, Oklahoma and Ohio.
"It is important for all groups, tribes and individuals to understand that the movement of firewood from other areas of the country is regulated for the protection of our own trees and forests - and moving firewood can bring destructive pests into North Dakota," Goehring said.
Moving uncertified firewood out of the areas under quarantine for these pests can be a federal offense. Nearby states with quarantines for these pests include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Michigan.
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture, North Dakota Forest Service and North Dakota Parks and Recreation advise people to buy firewood locally to prevent the spread of pests within the state and to prevent pests from accidentally entering the state. Firewood should not be brought into North Dakota from any state or federally quarantined area. People wishing to donate to the camps are advised to use Bismarck-area firewood vendors and tribes that are experienced in moving firewood legally into the state in order to protect the Dakotas from invasive species that kill trees.
Many states in the Great Plains region near North Dakota have areas under quarantine for pests such as emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and Asian longhorned beetle, and it is illegal to move any regulated items, including most firewood, from quarantined zones out of those states and into North Dakota without a state or federal inspection certificate or a stamp certifying heat treatment. Other areas, such as Rocky Mountain states, could have regional pests of concern within their firewood - including mountain pine beetle, balsam woolly adelgid, walnut twig beetle and others.
North Dakota has more than 400,000 acres of community forests and almost 2 million acres of upland forests, riparian forests and rural tree plantings such as wind breaks.
"These pests spread slowly on their own, but can be moved long distances in firewood and nursery stock," State Forester Larry Kotchman said in a statement.
"Hunters, sportsmen and all visitors coming into the state this time of year need to know the regulations that restrict the movement of firewood," North Dakota Parks and Recreation Interim Director Jesse Hanson said. "Just like you wouldn’t hunt or fish without a permit, you can’t just bring any firewood into North Dakota without knowing the rules and regulations that apply."
Anyone who has moved firewood into the state from a regulated area is urged to burn it immediately. Do not bring it back with you, and please consult with the Department of Agriculture prior to moving firewood across state or county boundaries. For more information on firewood pests, visit https://www.nd.gov/ndda/program/firewood , www.dontmovefirewood.org or www.HungryPests.com .