Campers and other visitors planning to have campfires at state parks, state forests and other public lands managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources need to be aware of new firewood rules beginning this year. New rules were needed, because quarantine boundaries instituted for gypsy moth and emerald ash borer made the former rules problematic.
Under the new rules, firewood approved for use on DNR-managed lands includes:
• Firewood sold at the specific Minnesota state park or recreation area where it will be used.
• Non-ash firewood that was (1) purchased from a vendor and (2) harvested in the same Minnesota county as the DNR unit where it will be used.
• Firewood that was (1) purchased from a vendor, (2) harvested in Minnesota and (3) certified to be pest free by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture or the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
• Additional types of acceptable firewood listed at www.mndnr.gov/firewood.
“One of our biggest challenges has been communicating that firewood sold at a Minnesota state park or recreation area is approved for use at that specific unit, but it may not be approved for use at other Minnesota state parks and recreations areas,” said Ed Quinn, natural resource program supervisor for the Parks and Trails Division at the DNR. “If you have leftover firewood, be sure to check with park staff to determine whether it can be taken to any other campgrounds.”
When purchasing firewood, be sure the bundle label includes the county of harvest. If the wood is certified, the bundle label will also feature the logo of either the Minnesota Department of Agriculture or the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Save the receipt, because it will be needed to show proof of purchase and labeled bundles to DNR staff upon request. Individuals bringing non-approved firewood onto DNR lands are subject to confiscation of their firewood and a $100 penalty.
“Invasive species negatively impact forest ecosystems, scenic views and visitor experiences,” said Quinn. “That’s why it’s so important for everyone to do their part and bring only firewood approved for each specific campground or picnic area they visit.”
For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/firewood or contact the DNR Information Center by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 888-646-6367 (8am-8pm Monday through Friday, 9am-1pm Saturday).