Hoosier National Forest implements new firewood restrictions

BEDFORD – Effective immediately, the Hoosier National Forest will implement revised restrictions on firewood use on all National Forest System lands in Indiana. 

There are more than 140 pests and pathogens currently identified that can potentially be moved in firewood.

Conserving Hoosier forests is everyone’s responsibility.  To reduce the spread of these pests and keep forests healthy and resilient, the following restriction is now in place:

Possessing, storing, or transporting any part of a tree EXCEPT as described below (36 CFR 261, 58(t):

  • It is kiln-dried scrap lumber with no bark (processed lumber).
  • It is from your home or other Indiana location and has all bark removed.
  • It has an Indiana DNR compliance stamp.
  • Downed dead wood is collected and used within the developed recreational area where the campsite is located or collected and used within the immediate vicinity of a dispersed campsite on the Hoosier National Forest.
  • Downed dead wood obtained on the Hoosier National Forest within the same defined county, or from the Hoosier National Forest from those counties directly adjoining, and which is obtained by the holder of a valid firewood permit.

Firewood means any part or portion of a tree that has been cut and removed from its original location and is to be used as fuel for heating or cooking in an open pit, grill, fireplace, or stove.

Of particular concern is stopping or slowing the spread of larvae from non-native insect species, such as Asian longhorn beetles. 

These wood-boring insects hatch and feed on the cambium layer (inner bark) of the tree. This disrupts the flow of vital nutrients and water that the tree needs to survive. This process essentially girdles the tree and eventually causes mortality. 

To rid cut wood of these larvae, one of these methods is used – heat via kiln drying or removing the bark from firewood.  Once the bark is removed, these insect larvae are no longer protected from outside elements and die off quickly. This greatly reduces their spread to living trees in the area. 

To learn more about pests in firewood and how to obtain and use safe firewood visit: http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/

Forest visitors are reminded that the cutting of living or standing trees on National Forest System lands is prohibited. 

For more information on firewood restrictions on the Hoosier National Forest visit https://go.usa.gov/xAYCE  or contact the local Ranger District office for more information – Bedford 812-275-5987, or Tell City 812-547-7051.