PIERRE, S.D. — Camp fires or fire pits are becoming a common sight year round in South Dakota. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) reminds people to get firewood from the local area to prevent transportation of unwanted forest pests into and around the state.
South Dakota Department of Agriculture forest health specialist Dr. John Ball says, “There are nearly two million forested acres in South Dakota and an additional one million acres of non-forested land with trees. Many states in the Great Plains region near South Dakota have areas under quarantine for pests such as emerald ash borer (EAB), gypsy moth and Asian longhorned beetle.”
Federal law makes it illegal to move any regulated items from quarantined zones out of those states and into South Dakota without a state or federal inspection certificate or a stamp certifying compliance of proper treatment, such as a heat treatment.
Dr. Ball says, “While firewood is the vector for movement, it’s not campgrounds anymore. It is firewood moved to homes carrying the unwanted insects, hence the increase in pest discoveries, such as EAB, in more residential neighborhoods.”
Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect and preserve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit SDDA online at http://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SD Ag Chat podcasts can be found in the Ag News section at http://sdda.sd.gov/news. You may subscribe, free of charge, through Google Play Music, iTunes or from https://sdagchat.podbean.com/.
— South Dakota Department of Agriculture
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