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GFP Clarifies Rules for Bringing Wood into Quarantined Parks

PIERRE, S.D. – With the emerald ash borer emergency quarantine restricting the movement of wood from the Sioux Falls area, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks has clarified the rules for bringing outside firewood into state parks.

South Dakota state parks located within the quarantine area will now allow outside wood if it has a label affixed to certify it as emerald ash borer treated and safe to move. At all other state park areas, outside wood is allowed as long as it has never been within the quarantine area or if it has the certification label. At all parks, campers can burn wood that has been purchased from the park itself. The out-of-state firewood ban is also still in effect, which was put into place when neighboring states reported infestations of the invasive insect.

“Visitors have been great about following the quarantine,” said State Park Director Katie Ceroll. “They really seem to understand and appreciate the devastating impact an emerald ash borer infestation would have on our state parks.”

Ceroll said that over the past decade, knowing an infestation was imminent, the parks have been diversifying woodlands and reducing reliance on ash trees.

“Every year we can put off an emerald ash borer infestation in state parks is another year that our alternate species trees can grow larger and fill in the gaps.”

An infestation of emerald ash borer was confirmed in northern Sioux Falls in early May. While it is the first confirmed infestation in South Dakota, the invasive insect has killed tens of millions of ash trees in at least 32 states.

For more information about the quarantine and the emerald ash borer, visit http://emeraldashborerinsouthdakota.sd.gov.