- With camping season bringing thousands of visitors to the Northwoods, thousands more unwelcome visitors may hope to ride along.
The Emerald Ash Borer are only about the size of the tip of your thumb, but they kill every Ash tree they touch.
Luckily, they're not here yet, but forestry experts say it's really, just a matter of time.
They're calling on campers for help, because these bugs don't get here on their own.
"Campers sometimes bring firewood with them, to the campsites. The Emerald Ash Borer is an introduced pest, that mostly travels around on firewood," says US Forestry expert Jerry Van Cleve.
"People can really help out to slow the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. Hopefully if research [in preventing and treating infestations] has a chance to catch up, maybe eventually it won't get here, but right now the way it's moving across the midwest, chances are good it'll be here," says Suzanne Flory with the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest service.
Currently Emerald Ash Borers are known to be in Brown County down to Kenosha, and in the western edge of the state in and around La Crosse, and even in Michigan's Upper Pennisula.
Keeping infected firewood from moving to clean areas is currently the only way to prevent the beetle larva from spreading, and avoiding a complete decimation of Ash trees in the north.
"On the National Forest itself we have thousands and thousands of acres, of hardwood trees with lots of ash trees in that. So it would take out all the Ash trees in the National forest... Imagine, even just Rhinelander, all the Ash trees in town... It can wipe out the entire popultion of Ash trees in an area," says Flory.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National forest offers 51 campgrouds, but campers should be aware, state regulations ban bringing in firewood from more than 25 miles away.
Instead they say, buy firewood from the area, or get a permit to chop your own.
Written By: Kailey Burton