Firewood transportation regulation revised
“Without the existence of this regulation, firewood infested with invasive insects such as emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle could be transported throughout the state spreading infestations from one place to another,” Martens said. “To help reduce damages to New York’s forests and community trees, New Yorkers and visitors are urged to comply with the state’s regulations, which restrict the major vector for the introduction of these pests.”
The revised regulation focuses enforcement on untreated firewood that is in transit and any firewood possessed on state lands. The revisions also articulate the DEC’s authority to confiscate and destroy non-compliant firewood under the Environmental Conservation Law. The updated definition of “firewood” now excludes logs’ being moved to manufacturing facilities for processing from regulation as firewood, as this regulation is intended to regulate firewood specifically. Other regulations exist for log transport, enforced by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, including transport restrictions from the 20 counties in New York that are under state and federal Emerald Ash Borer quarantines.
For more information on the restrictions on transporting firewood, visit www.dec.ny.gov/animals/28722.html. The DEC urged New Yorkers to take the following steps to keep invasive species from spreading to other areas of the state:
- Leave all firewood at home. Do not bring it to campgrounds or parks.
- Get firewood at the campground or from a local vendor. Obtain a receipt or label that lists the firewood’s local source.
If transporting firewood within New York state:
- The wood must have a receipt or label that has the firewood’s source.
- The firewood must remain within 50 miles of its source.
- Individuals who cut firewood from their own property must have a self-issued certificate of origin, which is available at www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/selfisscert.pdf. That certificate must be sourced within 50 miles of the destination.
- Only firewood that, per New York’s heat treatment standards, has been heated at 160 degrees for 75 minutes to kill pests and labeled as “New York approved treated firewood/pest free, may be transported into the state and farther than 50 miles from the firewood’s source.
EAB is a small, destructive beetle that infests and kills green, white, black and blue North American ash tree species. The first detection of EAB in New York was in Cattaraugus County in June 2009. There are now a dozen New York counties infested with the emerald ash borer, mainly in the Hudson Valley and the western portion of the state. To learn how to spot infestations and report suspected damage, utilize the volunteer survey form, which can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/72136.html.
Damage from EAB is caused by the larvae, which feed in tunnels below the ash tree’s bark. The tunnels disrupt water and nutrient transport, causing branches and, potentially, the entire tree to die. Adult beetles leave D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Other signs of infestation include tree canopy dieback, yellowing and extensive sprouting from the roots and trunk. Infested trees may also exhibit woodpecker damage from larvae extraction.
For more information on invasive forest pests, visit www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html or call 1-866-640-0652. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is available at www.agriculture.ny.gov/PI/eab.html.