February 8, 2016

State reminds hunters not to transport firewood



Almost a third of Wisconsin counties are now under quarantine for the tree-killing emerald ash borer, after the beetle was found this week in Dane County. The discovery of the insect at a Madison park means 21 counties in the state have confirmed the presence of EAB.

State Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection spokeswoman says winter will not kill off the beetle, which she says “overwinters between the bark and the cambium of the tree.” She says anyone moving firewood in the state runs the risk of also transporting the beetle to a new area, which of particular concern during the ongoing deer hunting season as hunters set up camp in different parts of the state.

Gilson notes that emerald ash borer is not the only pest that can travel in the winter. “The other thing that can be carried on the logs at this time of year are the egg masses that the gypsy moths leave. And those overwinter also and hatch out in the spring. You don’t want to be the one who brings EAB, gypsy moths or oak wilt to destroy the National Forests up north.”

Brian Kuhn with DATCP says his agency is disappointed with the latest finding in Madison, However, he’s not surprised, given the earlier presence of the emerald ash borer in southern Wisconsin and the ease of transporting wood infested with the beetles.

Dane County is under the quarantine, joining the adjacent Rock, Jefferson, Dodge, and Sauk counties. Businesses that handle ash products must certify with the state that they are disease-free. Also, Dane County firewood cannot be transported to counties that don’t currently have a quarantine in place.

Raymond Neupert, WSAU

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