We are hiring summer interns!

Enthusiastic conservation interns needed for two positions (one 3 months, one 6 months) in Western Massachusetts with Don't Move Firewood's summer campaign! Our interns will travel to events throughout the region to educate the public about the issues tackled by Don't Move Firewood- talking about invasive forest pests moving on contaminated firewood, and how people can help look for and report pests. Experience speaking with the public is crucial, a background and/or education in forest issues, conservation biology, or other related field is desirable.


To apply, visit The Nature Conservancy's Job Listing #41992. Applications are due before April 7th 2014.


Please note that a small glitch in this listing sometimes makes it look like the interns will be based in Boston. They will not be in Boston. They will be based in Great Barrington, MA.


Do not apply via any email or form found on Don't Move Firewood's main site. You must go to the TNC Careers listing or your application will not be considered. Thank you!

Wood chips from Virginia to Colorado?

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

I would like to bring some hickory wood chips (from a tree on my property in Virginia) to Colorado for my son to use for smoking meat. I don’t want to move any infestation to Colorado, but hickory does not seem to be on any Virginia or Colorado site as a problem tree and as these are just chips, so would it be okay to transfer them to him? (ed. note: lightly edited for clarity)


Virginia Resident


Dear Virginia Resident,

At first glance, bringing hickory chips from Virginia to Colorado seems like it might be OK- but it is actually in violation of the North American Spongy Moth quarantine. Because spongy moth egg sacs are commonly laid on all sorts of trees in Virginia (including hickory trees), and because the egg sacs are pretty small and could easily pass undamaged through a chipper, you can’t bring hickory chips from your tree in Virginia to your son’s place in Colorado.

Here’s a complete explanation provided by John Kaltenbach with the Colorado Department of Agriculture:

“This is actually a very good example of a risk that is not so obvious. We do not have Hickory in Colorado, but we also do not have spongy moth. There is a federal quarantine for the European spongy moth (Lymantria dispar)  that includes most of Virginia (see map). Anything that the spongy moth can lay eggs upon is subject to the USDA spongy moth quarantine and is not to be moved without treatment. Hickory is a host tree for spongy moth, so that increases the possibility that spongy moth egg masses could be laid on the hickory tree being cut down. One spongy moth egg mass may have up to 500 eggs and some will survive chipping.

While this may seem like an unlikely transfer of pests, that is how many of them have traveled across the country. Twenty years ago Colorado had two separate infestations of spongy moth that were successfully eradicated. We do not want to spend the time and effort eradicating this pest again.”


Here are some good resources:

Kiln Dried vs Heat Treated firewood

Packaged firewood comes in a lot of forms, and it is important for you to know the difference between kiln dried firewood and heat treated firewood.

Kiln dried firewood is firewood that has been dried out, for some unknown period of time at some unknown temperature, in a kiln. It is a term without a firm definition, and with no legal standing. Kilns used for kiln drying can be set to lots of different temperatures and they can dry wood out a little, or a lot, and still label the wood kiln dried. Kiln dried firewood is NOT acceptable to move around, because of huge variations in how long, and how hot, the firewood was treated. It is completely NOT a meaningful label when it comes to forest pests and diseases. You cannot, for instance, take firewood that is simply labeled “kiln dried” out of a quarantined area for emerald ash borer. That is illegal.

Heat treated firewood is different. The makers of heat treated firewood hold a legal compliance agreement that the firewood is heated to a certain core temperature and for a certain amount of time. The heat treatment standard that is used most often is for 60 minutes to 60 degrees Celcius (140 degrees Farenheit) because this is the approved heat treatment level for emerald ash borer. The majority of the time, heat treated firewood is considered OK to move if it is properly labeled as such. There is notably some variation in heat treated firewood and various state and federal regulations. For instance, the required heat treatment level for firewood entering the state of New York is higher (hotter and longer) than the heat treatment level for firewood leaving an emerald ash borer quarantine area. However, in most cases, firewood labeled with a USDA APHIS seal (like the sample shown below) is considered safe to move across jurisdictional boundaries.

And now you know!