(UNDATED) - Ash trees are dead and dying throughout Indiana by the thousands, costing Hoosiers millions and marring the landscape.
The killer is tiny, elusive and resilient. The emerald ash borer beetle, EAB for short, can fly, but not far. Its rapid spread is caused by humans moving the firewood in which the beetles thrive.
Memorial Day weekend travel traditionally coincides with a more sinister happening--more spread of this killer by unwary humans on summer vacation trips and weekend outings.
To remind Hoosiers and visitors to Indiana to protect forests by not moving firewood, Gov. Mike Pence has declared May 19-25 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources regulates the types of firewood that can be brought onto State lands. The purpose is not only to stop spread of EAB, but also to fight the next invasive pest, which will likely travel in firewood, too.
The DNR requires all firewood entering state properties to: (1) be accompanied by a state or federal compliance stamp allowing such movement, or (2) be kiln-dried scrap lumber, or (3) be completely debarked if brought from home within Indiana.
To fight EAB, if you plan to have a campfire, the best option is to buy firewood close to where you will burn it; don't bring it from home. Burn wood completely before leaving your site--don't leave wood for the next person. Buying packaged firewood bearing a state or federal compliance stamp also helps.
Extensive information about the bug and the laws regarding firewood movement is at dnr.IN.gov/entomolo/3443.htm.
Suspected EAB infestations outside of the quarantine boundaries should be reported to DNR's toll-free Invasive Species Hotline, 1-866-NO-EXOTIC. Insecticide treatments are available to protect individual trees from EAB. Many are cost effective. See eabindiana.info.
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