Fact Sheet 23: Firewood Policy

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published May 11, 2015
Updated: March 22, 2023

It is the policy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, to support and contribute toward the efforts of state and other federal agencies to impede the movement of invasive species by the transport of firewood.

Emerald ash borer has already killed at least 30 million ash trees in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. This has both serious ecological and financial impacts on the affected areas.

Ash trees make up a significant portion of the forests in these regions. The Midwest alone has some ecosystems that are comprised of 20-40 percent ash. Minnesota has the third largest volume of ash timber in the nation. There are more than 700 million ash trees in Wisconsin’s forests and ash comprises one of the most common forest types in North Dakota. These important forest resources are at risk and need protection.

Corps firewood policy

The district commander has established a restriction at the Corps of Engineers’ recreation areas and other project lands within the district’s boundaries that prohibits the possession, transportation, use or storage of firewood in Minnesota and Wisconsin that has not been certified or approved by a respective state or federal agency. On project lands in North Dakota, the restriction prohibits firewood originating from more than
100 miles from project lands or the current state requirements, whichever is more restrictive, or from across state or national boundaries, unless the firewood has been officially certified as pest-free. Firewood certifying and/or approving agencies include state departments of natural resources or agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

  • If you bring firewood with you to recreation sites in Minnesota and/or Wisconsin, you will be asked to show proof of purchase from an approved/certified, pest-free firewood vendor.   
  • If you bring firewood from outside the approved distance within North Dakota or without certification in Minnesota and Wisconsin, you will not be allowed to bring the wood into the recreation area and/or the wood will be disposed of by Corps staff.
  • Certified/approved firewood is available for purchase at, or nearby, many of the St. Paul District recreation areas.

For more information, please contact a Corps of Engineers park ranger or the park office. We thank you for your cooperation in protecting our important forest resources.