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E-M:/ Summer Travelers Reminded to Not Move Firewood

Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>

May 24, 2006

CONTACT: Colleen Steinman 517-373-0399 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014

Summer Travelers Reminded to Not Move Firewood

To help Michigan observe "Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week," Department of Natural Resources officials today urged campers, boaters and outdoor enthusiasts to not move firewood as the 2006 peak summer use season kicks off this Memorial Day Weekend.

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm proclaimed the week of May 21 as "Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week" to help increase awareness of the devastating effect EAB has on Michigan's natural resources.

Moving firewood spreads invasive species and diseases, including EAB, which has killed more than 15 million ash trees in southeast Michigan since first discovered in 2002. State parks and recreation areas, which have been seriously impacted by this invasive green beetle, have stepped up enforcement efforts to prevent the movement of firewood into DNR-managed lands.

Visitors to state parks and recreation areas across the state will see some changes in landscapes caused by EAB, exotic insects and other diseases. Trees have been cut down in some locations to help prevent the spread of EAB. The most dramatic changes can be viewed at Warren Dunes State Park in Berrien County. More than 8,000 ash trees, including 4,000 from the modern campground, were removed this spring after EAB was discovered.

"The EAB impact is very unfortunate and we are moving forward to eek grants and donations to implement a tree replacement program based upon a stewardship plan," said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.

At Brimley State Park, the only location in the Upper Peninsula where EAB has been discovered, more than 300 ash trees were removed last year. The park staff and local community volunteers used a $12,500 Forest, Mineral and Fire Management grant to replant 100 trees this spring, including 30 red maple, 20 red oak, 20 white pine, 15 spruce and 15 balsam fir trees. Volunteers from Brimley High School's environmental science class assisted with digging holes and planting trees.

"If people would like to provide a tax-deductible donation for tree replacements, please contact your favorite state park or recreation area," Olson said.

If you are going to be traveling in Michigan this summer, purchase all your firewood when you reach your destination and burn what you buy on site.
"Everyone can help us prevent further tree loss by complying with the laws prohibiting the movement of ash firewood and going one step further by not moving firewood of any species," Olson said.

Michigan residents and visitors should adhere to the state's ban on transporting hardwood firewood from quarantined areas or out of the Lower Peninsula. Violators face fines/penalties ranging from $1,000 up to $250,000 and face up to five years in jail if found guilty of transporting hardwood firewood into the Upper Peninsula. Additionally, a Land Use Order by DNR Director Rebecca Humphries prohibits anyone from bringing ash firewood onto any DNR-managed lands.

For more information about EAB, invasive species and the laws governing firewood movement, visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr or go to www.michigan.gov/eab.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.


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