May 26, 2010 4:27 PM by Greg Boyce
When camping, the Colorado Department of Agriculture reminds outdoor enthusiasts to leave their firewood at home.
"Moving firewood across the state can contribute to tree mortality," said John Kaltenbach, CDA's cooperative agricultural pest survey coordinator. "Insects and diseases can be transported with the wood and can hurt or even kill Colorado's forests."
Insects and diseases that affect trees move slowly, unless they can hitch hike with humans.
· The mountain pine beetle has impacted almost 3 million acres of forests in Colorado. This pest has established populations in mountain areas so people are encouraged to not bring firewood down from the mountains to keep the beetle from spreading to urban areas.
· The emerald ash borer is a beetle that has killed over 50 million ash trees in the Midwest. At this time, it has not been discovered in Colorado but CDA is working in cooperation with other state and federal agencies to prevent the spread of this beetle to Colorado. Traps are set annually across the state as a tool for early detection.
Campers are urged to buy their firewood at their destination, thus preventing the spread of any insects or diseases that can be found in or on the wood.