LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is asking campers to restrict the movement of firewood to prevent the entry of the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) into the state.
EAB is a tree-killing beetle native to Asia. It can move from state to state in firewood. Emerald ash borer has become established near Creston, Iowa, just 60 miles from the Nebraska border. To date there are no confirmed reports of EAB migration into Nebraska.
As in recent years, a Voluntary Firewood Exchange Program is in place at several state park areas to prevent the movement of the emerald ash borer into the state. Campers at Niobrara, Ponca, Eugene T. Mahoney and Indian Cave state parks, and Red Willow Reservoir, Medicine Creek Reservoir, Branched Oak, Lewis and Clark, Pawnee and Two Rivers state recreation areas who bring firewood from outside of the state should exchange their wood at the park office or campground host for an equal volume of locally acquired firewood.
In addition, it is recommended that Nebraska residents also acquire firewood at or near their destination, rather than bringing it from other locations. Locally acquired firewood will be sold at park offices or concessions inside Chadron, Fort Robinson, Indian Cave, Eugene T. Mahoney, Niobrara, Platte River, Ponca and Smith Falls state parks and Branched Oak, Fremont, Lake Maloney, Lake Minatare, Lewis and Clark, Louisville, and Two Rivers state recreation areas.
Wood lying on the ground at Game and Parks properties may be collected and burned as firewood on site.
Park visitors are commended for their cooperation with the wood exchange program and for their diligence in preventing the spread of EAB. Visitors are also reminded to enjoy campfires safely and in compliance with regulations to prevent wildfires.
More information can be found at: emeraldashborer.info and dontmovefirewood.org.