DNR reminds visitors to bring only approved firewood onto state lands

Only approved firewood is allowed on Department of Natural Resources-managed lands, which include state parks, state forests and wildlife management areas. Firewood restrictions help prevent the introduction or spread of damaging forest pests, including emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and oak wilt. 

“In recent weeks, various state parks have been experiencing a surge of people bringing in unapproved firewood,” said Susan Olin, Lake Bemidji State Park assistant manager. “Firewood is approved by location, not by vendor. Firewood approved for use at one state park or forest is not necessarily approved for use at another state park or forest.”

Firewood that can be used on state-managed lands must be offered for sale by the DNR at that location OR:

  1. Be acquired from a DNR-approved firewood vendor who sells firewood harvested within Minnesota and less than 50 miles from where it will be burned.
  2. Firewood that originated in Minnesota and obtained from a DNR-approved firewood vendor certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) or USDA- Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). A vendor ticket, bundle label or sales receipt must accompany the firewood.
  3. Be kiln dried, clean (unpainted and unstained) dimensional lumber that is free of any metal or foreign substance. Pallet boards are not considered approved firewood.

There is one exception: Those camping on state forest land outside of a designated campground may gather dead wood on the ground for campfire use on site.

“We want to encourage our visitors to help us protect our trees,” said Sue Burks, Forestry’s invasive species program coordinator. “Our state parks, forests, wildlife management areas and other DNR lands are vulnerable to invasion from nonnative forest pests.”

The DNR encourages visitors to burn all firewood purchased from a park before leaving or to return unopened bundles for a refund. If all firewood purchased outside the park is not burned, visitors should leave any leftover firewood with the camp host or at the campsite for use by the next camper. It’s important that visitors not take firewood home because it could move forest pests to a new location.

The DNR also recommends that people avoid transporting wood from their home area to their lake cabin or other recreation sites around the state. The best firewood is local or MDA Certified firewood.

For more information, including a list of approved firewood vendors, visit mndnr.gov/firewood or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us, 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday.