As people begin to load up the truck to get the hunting camp ready, many may be tempted to truck some extra firewood down for the season, but they may be bringing more than a source of heat and conversation.
Many invasive insects, such as the emerald ash borer, can be found in firewood, and transporting that wood can be one of the fastest ways for these pests to spread. There’s really no way to tell what parasites a log harbor.
“Wood that looks clean may actually be concealing insects like the emerald ash borer,” said AGFC Chief of Wildlife Management Brad Carner. “It’s not only an issue for private camps, but also for our public land.”
The spread of invasive insects has become such a concern with land managers that transporting firewood to or on any Commission-owned WMA was banned in 2014.
Carner suggests hunters camping on WMAs take the time to gather dead and downed branches and trees. Area managers often drag a few large trees near the edge of campsites as well.
“On all WMAs, it is illegal to use or possess chainsaws, handsaws, hatchets, axes, weed trimmers or other cutting devices outside of designated campgrounds,” Carner said. “This isn’t so much an issue in summer, but with hunting season right around the corner, people may be stocking up at deer camp and we want to warn them of the dangers as well.”
Visit www.dontmovefirewood.org to learn more about the emerald ash borer and other pests being spread through the transport of firewood.