February 9, 2016

State considers tighter restrictions on moving firewood

The state Department of Natural Resources is considering new restrictions on bringing firewood into state parks, as part of ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the tree-killing emerald ash borer. Firewood is the main carrier of the ash beetle, which moved into far northwest Wisconsin for the first time this year.

During its meeting in Pembine Wednesday, the state Natural Resources Board agreed to hold public hearings on reducing the distance that firewood can be brought onto state-owned properties from 25 miles to 10 miles. The limit would not apply to firewood certified as being pest-free by the state Agriculture Department. It will continue to be against the law to bring in firewood from other states.

Public hearings on the new rule are set for October 29th in Madison, Eau Claire, Wausau, and Green Bay. Five new counties have been quarantined this year for the emerald ash borer — Jefferson, Dodge, Sauk, Winnebago, and Douglas.

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