Bothersome burrowers not welcome in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bothersome burrowers not welcome in Iowa


Pete Brejcha grew up near Cedar Rapids and is back in Eastern Iowa to camp at Palisades-Kepler State Park.

"When I was a kid it was Dutch Elm Disease, and now this is the big threat." Brejcha does his part to keep the invasive Emerald Ash Borer out of sight. "It's very, very important that you bring in your own wood from your state.  Not in from especially Wisconsin, Illinois or any parts to the East," said Brejcha.

Firewood can be transportation for bothersome burrowers like the Emerald Ash Borer.

Jim Hansen works for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

"Palisades-Kepler booked up months ago for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend." said Hansen. He's confident that campers will follow the firewood rules. "Most people anymore tend to come to the park and get set up and go locally to buy firewood.  We do have places within a mile of the park where they can buy a bundle for just a few dollars.  The wood for sale at corporately owned convenience stores is safe too, as long as its purchased in Iowa," said Hansen.

The Iowa D.N.R. and other state agencies declared the days leading up to Memorial Day "Emerald Ash Borer Awareness week."

They hope campers like Pete will spread the word about stopping the spread of the borer.

"The ash especially brought in on pallets and other things from other parts of the country are the biggest threat, and its something we'll have to watch out for because Iowa's forests, a big part of them, are ash trees. Its something to keep your antenna up for!  For the benefit of our entire state," said Brejcha.

The Cedar Rapids Department of Public Works also urged campers to not cross state lines with firewood.

"EAB is a tree pest not native to the U.S. But since being discovered in Michigan in 2002, it has been found in 15 states, including Iowa. The insect attacks and kills ash trees when the larvae tunnel under the tree's bark, cutting off its food supply. EAB has been spread in firewood, nursery stock and possibly other ash materials.

With over 10,000 public and equally more private ash trees in Cedar Rapids, EAB could be devastating for our urban canopy. Please use local firewood and limit the spread of this non native borer," said Craig Hanson.

Click here to read Iowa State University's Ash Borer Readiness Plan


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