Black Hills National Forest, S.D. (KOTA TV) - As hundreds of campers, tourists and outdoorsman flood the Black Hills, it's only a matter of time before tree killing insects or disease are brought into our neck of the woods.
South Dakota is is part of a movement to avoid the spread of tree killing insects or invasive species by buying firewood where you'll burn it.
That's why South Dakota is part of a national campaign to "Don't Move Firewood," Firewood can carry a variety of tree killing insects and disease, such as the emerald ash borer.
These invasive species are more likely to come into South Dakota from people carrying out-of-state firewood. The emerald ash borer, first spotted in Sioux Falls last year, is responsible for killing millions of ash trees across the United States. This insect is migrating faster than it can fly, which means their spread is human caused. There is no telling to what extent their devastation or other invasive species can be in our area.
"When you bring in the invasive species it can be detrimental to soil health and the water quality and things along those lines," Anthony Potter, a conservation officer with South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks. "The stuff we have naturally here has been the most successful for a reason, kind of a survival of the fittest deal, so introducing those invasive species that can potentially out compete those can detriment the entire ecosystem."
The best practice is to buy your firewood where you will burn it or gather firewood on site where permitted. If you end up having spare firewood after your camping trip, you shouldn't take it home. It is best to just leave at that site.