ST. PAUL—The Minnesota DNR wants to remind visitors that only approved firewood is allowed on lands administered by the DNR, such as state parks, state forests and wildlife management areas. Firewood restrictions are needed to help prevent the introduction or spread of damaging forest pests, including emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and oak wilt.
“In recent weeks, various state parks have been experiencing a surge of people bringing in unapproved firewood,” said Susan Olin, Lake Bemidji State Park assistant manager. “Firewood is approved by location, not by vendor. Firewood approved for use at one state park or forest is not necessarily approved for use at another state park or forest.”
Firewood that can be used on state administered lands must be offered for sale by the DNR at that location or:
• Be acquired from a DNR-approved firewood vendor. A vendor ticket, bundle label or sales receipt must accompany the firewood.
• Be kiln-dried, clean (unpainted and unstained) dimensional lumber that is free of any metal or foreign substance. Pallet boards are not considered approved firewood.
There is one exception: Those camping on state forest land outside of a designated campground may gather dead wood on the ground for campfire use on site.
“We want to encourage our visitors to help us protect our trees,” said Sue Burks, DNR Forestry’s invasive species program coordinator. “Our state parks, forests, wildlife management areas and other DNR lands are vulnerable to invasion by nonnative forest pests.”
The DNR encourages visitors to burn all firewood purchased from a park before leaving or to return unopened bundles for a refund. If visitors are not able to burn all firewood purchased outside the park, they should leave any leftover firewood with the camp host or at the campsite for use by the next camper. It’s important that visitors not take firewood home because it could move forest pests to a new location.
For more information, including a list of approved firewood vendors, visit www.mndnr.gov/firewood/index.html.