MADISON, Wis. – As the annual gun deer hunting season begins and hunters travel to deer camps, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) reminds hunters to use local or certified firewood to prevent the spread of harmful forest pests and diseases. Protecting Wisconsin’s forests helps preserve wildlife habitats used for hunting.
“Preventing the spread of forest pests and diseases supports tourism, timber, and nursery industries,” said DATCP’s Bureau of Plant Industry Director Brian Kuhn. “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 locations, including gas stations, grocery stores, and state parks, and may be purchased directly from certified firewood dealers. DATCP’s firewood dealer certification program is voluntary, and there are currently 41 participants.
“Just because you cannot see them does not mean forest pests are not present in your firewood,” said Kuhn. “DATCP works closely with local, state, and federal partners to survey for pests and diseases and protect the Wisconsin forests our citizens, businesses, and communities rely on.”
Examples of some of the pests and diseases DATCP monitors for include spongy moth, emerald ash borer, spotted lanternfly, and Asian longhorned beetle. Limiting firewood movement helps prevent the spread of tree-killing and habitat-damaging insects and diseases, 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/Programs_Services/Firewood.aspx.