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For Release: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DEC Inspects Firewood to Prevent Spread of Emerald Ash Borer

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers and Forest Rangers screened nearly 100 campers enroute to Watkins Glen International Racetrack at a checkpoint south of Montour Falls on Aug. 7. As a result, three tickets were issued for the transportation of firewood into New York State from out of state. Violators' firewood was seized and chipped. Other campers were given warnings and provided with educational information and assistance in completing source certificate documents for wood procured within a 50-mile radius of Watkins Glen.

"Public outreach and education efforts have proven very effective at reducing the movement of untreated firewood," stated DEC Regional Director Paul J. D'Amato. "This is the third consecutive year DEC has conducted checkpoint inspections for illegally transporting untreated firewood in Schuyler County. Many campers this year were aware of firewood transportation regulations and either opted to no longer have campfires or obtained their firewood locally."

Regulation prohibits the import of firewood into New York unless it has been heat treated to kill pests such as emerald ash borer (EAB). The regulation also limits the transportation of untreated firewood to less than 50 miles from its source. Quarantines restrict the movement of ash trees, ash products and firewood from all wood species in and around the areas where EAB has been found.

EAB has been found in the Hudson Valley, the Catskills and Western New York. It is responsible for the destruction of more than 50 million ash trees in the United States since its discovery in Michigan in 2002. The main method of movement of EAB across the country has been through the transport of firewood to campgrounds. By transporting firewood, campers and homeowners could spread diseases and invasive insects that can quickly kill large numbers of trees.

Don't Move Firewood - You Could be Killing Our Trees!

Help STOP THE SPREAD and obey the Firewood Regulation:

  • It is best to leave all firewood at home - please do not bring it to campgrounds or parks.
  • Get your firewood at the campground or from a local vendor - ask for a receipt or label that has the firewood's local source.
  • If you choose to transport firewood within New York state:
    • It must have a receipt or label that has the firewood's source and it must remain within 50 miles of that source.
    • For firewood not purchased (i.e. cut from your own property) you must have a Self-Issued Certificate of Source and it must be sourced within 50 miles of your destination.
    • Only firewood labeled as meeting New York's heat treatment standards to kill pests (kiln-dried) may be transported into the state and further than 50 miles from the firewood's source.

DEC urges residents to watch for signs of infestation in ash trees. To learn more about EAB and the firewood regulations, or to report suspected EAB damage, call DEC's EAB hotline at 1-866-640-0652 or submit an EAB report on DEC's website.

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  • Linda Vera
    6274 East Avon-Lima Road
    Avon, NY 14414
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