Emerald Ash Borer quarantine area expanded

PIERRE – South Dakota State Parks are reminding campers that firewood originating from anywhere in the newly-expanded Emerald Ash Borer quarantine area is prohibited in all South Dakota state parks.

The recent discovery of a new infestation of Emerald Ash Borer in southeast South Dakota has prompted the South Dakota Department of Agriculture to expand the quarantine area, which now includes all of Minnehaha, Lincoln and Turner counties.

“Since it was implemented last year, visitors have been great about following the quarantine,” said State Parks Director Scott Simpson. “They really understand the devastating impact an emerald ash borer infestation would have on our state parks.”

South Dakota state parks located within the quarantine area will allow outside wood if it has a label affixed to certify it as emerald ash borer treated and safe to move. At all other state park areas, outside wood is allowed as long as it has never been within the quarantine area or if it has the certification label.

At all parks, campers can burn wood that has been purchased from the park itself. An out-of-state firewood ban is also in effect, which was put into place when neighboring states reported infestations of the invasive insect.

Over the past decade, knowing an infestation was imminent, Simpson said parks have been diversifying woodlands and reducing reliance on ash trees.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture first confirmed an infestation of Emerald Ash Borer in northern Sioux Falls in May 2019. This is the first expansion of the quarantine area. Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in at least 32 states.

For more information about the quarantine and the Emerald Ash Borer, visit: emeraldashborerinsouthdakota.sd.gov.