Dakota Access oil pipeline

This aerial photo from February 2017 shows the closed Dakota Access pipeline protest camp near Cannon Ball, N.D.

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota's Agriculture Department is encouraging people to be aware of the threat of invasive plant pests and diseases, especially after the months of protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says donated firewood from around the country to protest camps in North Dakota could have been a pathway for unwanted insects and diseases to enter the state.

Goehring says that when the camps were closed and cleaned up in February, crews hauled firewood to a landfill to eliminate the risk of any pests spreading.

State and federal officials will be monitoring and surveying the camp areas and disposal sites this summer for pests such as emerald ash borer, gypsy moths and bark beetles.

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