State parks in South Carolina are asking visitors and campers to mitigate the spread of invasive insects by purchasing firewood locally near parks.
The recent discovery in Charleston County of the Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), a borer that can damage the heart of a tree and kill it, prompted park officials to amplify their policy of using local firewood when visiting parks. The Park Service recommends purchasing wood preferably at the park store or within 10 miles of the park but no farther away than 50 miles.
Invasive insect pests and disease can easily travel in firewood as campers move across the state. Unfortunately, this makes favorite campgrounds and parks high-risk areas for invasive species introduction. Many invasive insect species can cause damage to park trees and forests, which diminishes their aesthetic value, upsets the natural balance of the ecosystem and costs large sums of money to control.
South Carolina already has several damaging invasive pests including the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) and the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae).
For more information on using firewood, visit www.DontMoveFirewood.org.
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