MADISON, Wis. – With the annual gun deer hunting season starting soon, many will travel to their annual deer camp spot in our state. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is asking hunters who use firewood to either buy local or certified firewood in order to prevent the spread of harmful forest pests and diseases. Protecting our forests helps preserve wildlife habitats used for hunting.
“Preventing the spread of forest pests and diseases supports tourism, timber, and nursery industries,” said Brian Kuhn, DATCP’s Bureau of Plant Industry director. “Burning certified firewood is the safest option, as it has been treated to reduce the risk of spreading pests and diseases to new areas.”
State certified firewood displays a DATCP label with a certification number and the firewood dealer’s name. It is available at many retail locations including gas stations, and may be purchased directly from certified firewood dealers. DATCP’s firewood dealer certification program is voluntary, and there are currently 36 participants.
“Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean forest pests aren’t present in your firewood,” said Kuhn. “DATCP works closely with local, state, and federal partners to survey for pests and diseases in order to protect the Wisconsin forests our citizens, businesses, and communities rely on.”
Examples of some of the pests and diseases DATCP monitors for include emerald ash borer, spotted lanternfly, and Asian longhorned beetle. Limiting firewood movement helps prevent the spread of tree-killing and habitat-damaging insects, some of which are not yet established in Wisconsin. To learn more about invasive pests in Wisconsin and how to identify and report them, visit https://plantpests.wi.gov.
For more information and to learn more about DATCP’s firewood dealer certification and firewood movement rules, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/