Hopes to Slow Spread of Emerald Ash Borer
Ken Day, Forest Supervisor on the Hoosier National Forest signed a closure order banning any unauthorized firewood from being brought into the Forest. Similar bans are already in place on State Forests and Park properties.
According to Day, “The emerald ash borer is a serious threat to Indiana’s forests. We know the borer has already been found in a few places in southern Indiana, but with this ban we’re hoping to slow further spread of the beetle.”
The beetle, an exotic beetle from Asia, preys on ash species, which comprise an estimated four percent of the trees on the Hoosier. Day explains the beetle moves very slowly on its own but spreads quickly with the movement of firewood or nursery stock. Eliminating infested firewood coming onto the Hoosier will hopefully stop the leap-frog pattern of infested sites.
Campers and other visitors can still bring in pine firewood or other conifer wood and kiln dried lumber. They can also buy or bring in certified firewood from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or the Indiana DNR. Day said a link to a list of vendors selling certified firewood is available from the Forest website. He notes, “Visitors may also collect downed wood from the forest floor to use while camping.”
“Ash is an important component of our Forest ecosystem,” said Day. “We want to do everything we can to try to save this species in southern Indiana.”