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Protecting the outdoors

Memorial Day signals the start of summer, and there’s lots to be mindful about as we start trekking into the warmer months.

Of particular concern is the potential spread of the emerald ash borer, an invasive pest that has already been found in 19 states. This past March, this particularly destructive beetle was spotted for the first time in Concord. Now areas across the state have moved into even more hyper-vigilance in an effort to confine the spread of the ash borer, which can kill an ash tree within three to five years. Ash represents about six percent of the state’s northern hardwood forest, and is often used for landscaping. And ash is just the latest tree under assault in our forests from a variety of invasive pests.

These types of beetles easily hitch rides to new locations in firewood stored in the backs of pickups. Since 2011, the entire state has been under a firewood quarantine, which means firewood can’t legally enter or leave the state. Now it’s up to those of us who enjoy nothing more than a New Hampshire campfire to be mindful of state regulations concerning firewood. It’ll make things a bit easier for those tracking the ash borer, and if we’re lucky it could help ruin the bug’s summer travel plans.

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