Be aware, campfire builders: New firewood rules now active for state lands

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Courtesy of Minnesota DNR

There are some new rules for anyone looking to build a campfire in a state park, state forest, or any other land that manged by the DNR. Invasive species, like the gypsy moth and emerald ash borer, have made former rules problematic due to the boundaries set up to keep their spread quarantined.

Ed Quinn, natural resource program supervisor for the Parks and Trails Division at the DNR, had this to say about Invasive Species: “Invasive species negatively impact forest ecosystems, scenic views and visitor experiences. 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.”

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,” Quinn says, “but it may not be approved for use at other Minnesota state parks and recreations areas. If you have leftover firewood, be sure to check with park staff to determine whether it can be taken to any other campgrounds.”

There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing firewood: The first is to make sure the bundle label includes the county the firewood was harvested. Also, make sure 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. Remember to also save the receipt, because it will be needed to show proof of purchase and labeled bundles to DNR staff upon request. Any individuals bringing non-approved firewood onto DNR lands are subject to confiscation of their firewood and a $100 penalty.

For more information from the DNR:

Visit www.mndnr.gov/firewood

Contact DNR Information Center by emailing info.dnr@state.mn.us

Call 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

Read this next: Minnesota DNR: Please, please, please, compost instead of burning your yard waste

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