Ask an Official: DNR warden discusses use of firewood in state, local parks
Ask an Official
This week’s featured question was submitted for DNR Conservation Warden Curt Butler with additional insight from Lincoln County Forestry Land and Parks Director Kevin Kleinschmidt.
The question reads:
“Is it ok to bring our own firewood when we go camping or do we absolutely have to buy it at the campground? I heard somewhere we aren’t allowed to but just want to make sure. If we can’t, why? If we can bring our own, is there any certain types of wood we need to know about?”
Answer as given by Warden Butler:
“In today’s era of invasive species of all sorts, the best policy is to get firewood close to where you plan to use it. Moving firewood is one of the leading ways invasive species and diseases spread. Restrictions on firewood movement primarily have to do with where it came from, and where you are planning on moving it. If you are bringing firewood to any state property (including state parks), it must have originated (grown and harvested) within 10 miles of the state property where it will be used. The only exception is Wis. Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)-certified firewood. That agency’s certification guarantees that firewood has been properly treated to kill pests and disease-carrying organisms. You can buy firewood in, or just outside of, almost every Wisconsin State Park System property. In remote areas, you will find firewood available locally. Also keep in mind if you can bring your own firewood, you cannot burn lumbar, pallets, or anything that contains metal, plastic, paint or chemicals. For additional information visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/invasives/firewood.html
“You cannot move emerald ash borer (EAB) affected wood from a quarantined county, into or through. a non-quarantined county. However, the entire state of Wisconsin in now quarantined for EAB. So you can move hardwood firewood, ash nursery stock or ash logs or timber within Wisconsin, except for non-quarantined tribal areas. For out-of-state movement, you need to check with USDA-APHIS.
“The gypsy moth quarantine covers 50 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, as well as many other parts of the United States. Under quarantine regulations, wood product and outdoor household items must be inspected or certified before moving them from quarantined areas to non-quarantined areas. Quarantine regulations apply to both businesses and private citizens. Lincoln County is quarantined, so before you move any wood, look at the gypsy moth quarantine map to make sure you don’t bring wood ,to or through, a non-quarantined county. A map of gypsy moth quarantine counties can be found at https://gypsymoth.wi.gov/.
“For county and federal properties, Lincoln County officials say firewood is provided with a camper-paid registration at Newwood and Otter Lake Campgrounds. Lincoln County also asks people do not bring firewood from outside Wisconsin, or from more than 10 miles from the campground or properties. The U.S. Forest Service requires that firewood be purchased within 25 miles of national forests, or be certified by the DATCP.”
Have a question or concern you would like to address? Simply send your question or concern to firstname.lastname@example.org along with an indication of which entity your question or concern pertains to. Current participants are the Merrill Police Department, Tomahawk Police Department, Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson, Merrill Area Housing Authority Director Paul Russell, Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe, Lincoln County Forestry Land and Parks Director Kevin Kleinschmidt, Local DNR Conservation Warden Curt Butler and Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) Superintendent Dr. John Sample. Please note: Those who submit to the ‘Ask an Official’ feature remain anonymous.