Sunday, June 2, 2019

Protect Adirondack Forests: Use Local Firewood

With the start of camping season underway, Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding campers that the New York State firewood transportation regulation is still in effect.

Untreated firewood may contain invasive pests that kill trees, and to protect New York’s forests, untreated firewood should not be moved more than 50 miles from its source of origin.

Homeowners should not move firewood from trees that died on their property for use while camping. By moving untreated firewood, invasive pests are able to hitch rides to new areas, spreading faster and farther than pests could have on their own. A variety of invasive species can be transported on firewood, from wood boring beetles and defoliators to fungi and diseases.

The New York State firewood regulation:

  • Prohibits untreated firewood from being brought into New York from other areas;
  • Prohibits untreated firewood grown in the state from being transported more than 50 miles from its source of origin; and
  • When transporting firewood, documentation of the source, origin, or treatment is required.

The origin of the wood is where it was grown. Anyone that cuts firewood for personal use is required to fill out a Self-Issued Certificate of Origin, available as a PDF on the DEC’s website. Producers of untreated firewood for sale must obtain wood grown within 50 miles of their business but may then declare the business as the source of the firewood. Examples of the source documentation are also available on DEC’s website. Consumers purchasing untreated firewood should make sure the source is clearly labeled to know how far the wood may be transported.

Firewood that meets the state’s heat treatment standard (160 degrees F core temperature for 75 minutes) and is labeled “New York-Approved Heat Treated/Pest Free,” can be moved without restriction. Heat-treating to this standard has been proven to kill insects and diseases that may be in firewood. Kiln-dried only means the wood was heated to dry it out so it will burn well, but it may not have reached 160 degrees F for 75 minutes. Purchasers of heat-treated firewood are encouraged to look for the appropriate label indicating the wood meets the standard.

Quarantines for individual invasive species, such as oak wilt and the Asian longhorned beetle, may further restrict the transport of firewood in specific areas. While quarantines may be lifted, expanded or tightened, the firewood regulation continues to remain in place.

For more information on Firewood and Invasive Insects, visit DEC’s website contact DEC’s Forest Health Division at

Photo of Adirondack fire wood by John Warren.

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5 Responses

  1. Dan T says:

    Yet call it a saw log or pulp and you can drive laps around the state with it. What a joke.

  2. Ryan Finnigan says:

    What’s the joke? What’s your point?

  3. Jeanne says:

    What is your point, Ryan?

  4. Davis Moquin says:

    Basically futile once the pest gets on a continent let alone a country or state. A consequence of international trade and travel and we aren’t going to stop that in the long run. What is lacking is a funding mechanism to deal with what can be devastating and long lasting consequences. We need to be grown up enough to accept the concept of the application of a tax or tariff to this activity to deal with these occasional painful realities.

    • Boreas says:

      What would be helpful is a federal “Invasive Superfund” that would be available to states to jump on an infestation with both feet when it is first detected and not waiting to see if and how far it will spread before acting. It would be much easier to contain something at a port or county level than state or national level.

      But I agree, intercontinental trade over time will upset stable environments worldwide. Considering the natural resources available in North America, perhaps we should reconsider importing “natural” products that could contain invasives in order to save a few bucks. Just import what we have to and monitor it very closely. Yes, this costs money, but so does loss of major forest and aquatic species.

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