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Firewood Originating within Expanded Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Area is Prohibited in all South Dakota State Parks

May 20, 2020

PIERRE, S. D. – The South Dakota State Parks are reminding campers that firewood originating within the newly-expanded Emerald Ash Borer quarantine area is prohibited in all South Dakota state parks. 

The recent discovery of a new infestation of Emerald Ash Borer southeast South Dakota area has prompted the South Dakota Department of Agriculture to expand the quarantine area, which now includes all of Minnehaha, Lincoln and Turner counties.

“Since it was implemented last year, visitors have been great about following the quarantine,” said State Parks Director Scott Simpson. “They really seem to understand and appreciate the devastating impact an emerald ash borer infestation would have on our state parks.”

South Dakota state parks located within the quarantine area will 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. An out-of-state firewood ban is also in effect, which was put into place when neighboring states reported infestations of the invasive insect.

Simpson 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,” he said.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture first confirmed an infestation of Emerald Ash Borer in northern Sioux Falls in May 2018. This is the first expansion of the quarantine area. Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in at least 35 states.

For more information about the quarantine and the Emerald Ash Borer, visit http://emeraldashborerinsouthdakota.sd.gov.

 

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