The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is urging all New Yorkers to comply with the state’s regulations on buying, transporting and burning firewood. Discoveries of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle and the Asian Long-horned beetle in parts of the Catskills has caused DEC to begin cracking down on firewood transportation.
The Emerald Ash Borer beetle is a small, but destructive species that infests and kills North American ash tree species. These include the green, white, black and blue ash trees. The EAB and other invasive species damage forests when infested firewood is brought to the area.
NYSDEC has designated August as Forest Pest Awareness month, and are working hard to educate the public about forest risks and pathogens. Please take the following steps to keep these invasive species from spreading to other areas of the state:
- 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 lists 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.
At a checkpoint in the town of Wells earlier this month, two people were found to have a load of firewood from outside a 50-mile radius. The firewood was confiscated, and both offenders face up to $250 in fines. PLEASE, help save our forests and buy firewood locally when you head into the woods.