September 30, 2014

EAB worries in the Northwoods

(Photo: DNR)

(Photo: DNR)

The recent discovery in Door county of the ash tree killing Emerald Ash Borer means the infestation is creeping closer to the Northwoods.

The bug has been found in 21 counties. At risk are the stands of ash trees in the national and state forests. The borer destroyed millions of trees in the eastern U.S. and Canada. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest spokesperson Hilary Markin says the key concern remains bringing firewood into campsites from infested areas. While the state DNR has tightened the ring to buy firewood to within 10 miles of state properties, she says the U.S. Forest Service sites remain not as restrictive.

“We have a 25 mile radius restriction put in place, they can also buy firewood from a certified firewood dealer near their home, but they need to bring proof that it was a certified dealer to us so we can track and make sure that was a certified dealer.”

Markin outlines what the differences are between the state and federal rules. “The DNR has gone to a 10 mile radius, but mostly they sell firewood at their campgrounds. (At the Chequamegon-Nicolet) we do not sell firewood at our campgrounds. In some cases you might have to go more than 25 miles to find firewood you want to go camping at.”

Markin says as far as the Forest Service knows, no Emerald Ash Borer infestations have occurred in the Chequamegon-Nicolet. Besides the Door county infestation to the east, the bug has been found in Superior on the western side of the forest.

 Ken Krall, WXPR