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DNR Bans Importation Of Firewood Into DNR Owned, Managed Properties
New DNR Policy Aimed at Stopping the Spread of the Emerald Ash Borer
ANNAPOLIS – With the busy Memorial Day weekend just days away, both the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Forest Service and Park Service today took active measures in the State’s effort to stop the spread of the emerald ash borer by introducing a new policy designed to prevent campers and other visitors from bringing outside firewood onto all DNR owned or managed properties. The Department will be notifying campers of the restriction when reservations are made and by notices posted at the properties. Both Park and Forest Service staffs will direct visitors to local sources of firewood and require campers to immediately burn any local firewood transported to a DNR property.
“The emerald ash borer is a non-native, invasive wood boring insect that has the potential to devastate the ash tree population and radically alter the forest composition of Maryland,” said Maryland State Forester Steve Koehn. “It has been found in parts of Maryland and nearby states and is spread most rapidly though movement of infested wood products – most notably firewood.”
The beetle was introduced to southern Prince George’s County in 2003 after a Michigan nurseryman illegally shipped infested ash trees in violation of a quarantine in that state. This winter, more than 25,000 ash trees were removed from neighborhoods and forests in a 21-square-mile area near Clinton and Brandywine. A 3-year surveillance program is already underway to determine if eradication efforts have been successful.
Visitors to Maryland state lands will be asked if they have brought firewood from home. If they have, both Park and Forest Service staffs will require campers to immediately burn any firewood being transported to a DNR property and direct visitors to local sources of firewood. Repeat violators may have their camping permit revoked.
“The personnel of the Maryland Park Service are ready to assist campers in their compliance with this policy and to assist them in finding alternative sources of firewood,” said MPS Acting Superintendent Rusty Ruszin. “It is important that we work together to preserve the camping experience available on these treasured public lands, while protecting our natural resources. I believe this new policy will allow the staff and our visitors to do just that.”
The Maryland Park Service offers more than 2,000 campsites, 120 full-service and camper cabins, and 100 picnic shelters to guests. Reservations for these facilities can be made through a toll-free reservation service by calling 1-888-432-2267 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday). Reservations can also be made online anytime at http://reservations.dnr.state.md.us/. It is important to note that the ban applies to all Maryland state properties, and is not limited to state parks and forests.
May 21, 2007
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov