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Firewood Restrictions Continue, Hoosier National Forest Hopes To Slow The Spread of Pests
Updated June 21, 2015 12:21 PM
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(BEDFORD) - Forest Supervisor Mike Chaveas renewed the order restricting unauthorized firewood from being brought into the Hoosier National Forest. With the recreation season fully underway, Forest staff want to remind people of the policies in place for firewood.

Chaveas explains, "The ban was originally put in place to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer. The emerald ash borer was a threat to our country's forests that we could not ignore. The borer continues to have devastating effects." He adds that despite the fact that emerald ash borer has been found in most Indiana counties, if care is taken with moving contaminated firewood, together we can slow the spread of the borer. Given more time, answers might be found to stop the beetle.

In addition to emerald ash borer, there are other pests that hitch-hike on firewood and move into forest areas causing problems for forest managers. The walnut twig beetle which carries the fungus causing thousand canker disease is something foresters are now watching for in Indiana. The Asian long-horned beetle was found near Cincinnati and eradication is underway although it's a long slow process to ensure every beetle is gone. This beetle feeds on 13 species of native trees.

Gypsy moth lay their eggs on dead wood so firewood is a common method of dispersing the destructive invasive moth which will eat 500 species of trees, shrubs and plants. The moth is found in Indiana and efforts are regularly underway to control the insect and slow its spread.

Chaveas asks that visitors to the Hoosier help protect the Forest by complying with the Forest order. Under the regulations visitors can bring in pine firewood or other conifer wood and kiln dried lumber. They can also buy or bring in firewood certified by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or the Indiana DNR.

He also notes, "Visitors may collect downed wood from the Forest floor to use while camping, or firewood permits are available on a limited basis; however, the wood must remain in the same county where it was cut."

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