Billboards in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia this Fall

Will you be taking a nice fall drive through the gorgeous states of Tennessee, Kentucky or Virginia this fall? Perhaps you might go camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah National Park, or the Blue Ridge Mountains? If so, you might see one or more of our nine brand new Don't Move Firewood billboards! With locations on major interstates, we are proud to say that the total coverage from these billboards will be over 20 million viewers during the fall months, with the possibility of many more viewers in the spring of 2015. Here at Don't Move Firewood, we are thrilled to participate in partnerships like this. Many thanks to The Nature Conservancy's Tennessee Chapter staff and Lamar Advertising for their truly outstanding work to get these billboards up for over 20 MILLION people to see!

 

Here's the design we chose for all nine billboards:

 

 

We also made billboards in 2014 for use in Montana and Idaho- read about and see those designs here!

Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Tool Kit

Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is in May each year, and here at Don’t Move Firewood we are excited to give our partners the tools they need to make EAB Awareness Week the best outreach week ever!

ALERT! WE HAVE MOVED ALL UPDATED RESOURCES TO

https://www.dontmovefirewood.org/emerald-ash-borer-awareness-week-toolkit/

The following text is for archiving only. The links do not work. Refer to the link above for a more current set of resources and links.

We’ve found that some of the best inspiration for outreach pieces comes from “standing on the shoulders of giants,” so we’ve compiled all the 2014 and 2015 materials that we could access, as well as other non-date-specific materials that might prove of use. Bookmark this page for your reference for Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week 2016!

Outreach Materials that could be used in 2016

  • Ash Tree Tag, (generic version or Montana specific version), credit: Purdue University Extension
  • Emerald ash borer mask  (Colored In or Line Drawn) credit: Don’t Move Firewood
  • Emerald ash borer coloring sheet credit: Don’t Move Firewood
  • Purple Trap Velcro Bug Game Instructions, credit: Vermont Department of Agriculture
  • Stop the Beetle kids activity packet, credit: HungryPests.com
  • “WANTED: Dead or Alive ” EAB poster, credit: U. of Arkansas Extension and the Arkansas Plant Board
  • 3D emerald ash borer do-it-yourself paper model, credit: York, Ontario EAB Canada page

Videos that could be used in 2016 Outreach

  • How to Identify the Emerald Ash Borer credit: Outsmart Invasives
  • Lifecycle of the Emerald Ash Borer (national version, adapted from original Minnesota version)
  • Assessing your ash tree for Emerald Ash Borer (made in Colorado, appears good for use across the region)

General Online Resources of Note

  • Emerald Ash Borer University (a.k.a. “EAB U”) Upcoming Webinars | Archived Webinars
  • StoptheBeetle.info (public outreach oriented website specific to emerald ash borer)
  • EmeraldAshBorer.info (forest health professionals oriented website)

Official Press Releases from 2014:

  • Governor O’Malley Declares May 18-24 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week; Citizens Encouraged to Help Prevent the Emerald Pest from Spreading (Maryland)
  • Governor Dayton proclaims May 18-24 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (Minnesota)
  • Emerald Ash Borer: Ash Tree Killer (Montana)
  • Governor Hassan Declares May 18 – 24 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (New Hampshire)
  • DEC Announces Fourth Annual Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (New York)
  • Officials work to keep emerald ash borer out of ND (North Dakota)
  • Nature Walks Planned Across the State to Celebrate Ash Tree Awareness Week (Vermont)
  • May 18-24 is Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (Wisconsin)
  • Community’s Proclamations of Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, 2014 Example/Template, created by S. Lucik at USDA APHIS

News Articles and Blurbs from 2014:

  • Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (Colorado)
  • Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (Florida)
  • Area’s ash borer problem peaking (Indiana)
  • Arbor Week—Ash Tree Tagging Update (Maine)
  • Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (Minnesota)
  • Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (New Hampshire)
  • Emerald ash borer — a risk to ash trees locally and across North America (New York)
  • Fourth annual emerald ash borer awareness week underway in NY (New York)
  • May 19-25 is Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (North Dakota)
  • Ash Tree Awareness Week a SmASHing Success! (Vermont)
  • Emerald Ash Borer awareness week (Wisconsin)
  • May 18-24 is Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (Wisconsin)

Governor’s Proclamations from past years

  • Indiana Governor’s Proclamation
  • Governor O’Malley Declares May 18-24 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week; Citizens Encouraged to Help Prevent the Emerald Pest from Spreading (Maryland)
  • Minnesota Governor’s Proclamation
  • New Hampshire Governor’s Proclamation
  • New York Invasive Species Awareness Week Governor’s Proclamation (slightly different, but perhaps an instructive example for other efforts)
  • Governor’s Proclamations of Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, 2014 Example/Template, created by S. Lucik with USDA APHIS

This very long and detailed list could not have been made without the help of our 2014 summer interns, Ariel and Katie! Thank you!

 

When the Threat Hits Close to Home

Why the Don’t Move Firewood Booth was Especially Relevant at Tanglewood on Parade

by Katie Robb, Don't Move Firewood Summer Intern

 

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home, Tanglewood, offers what can only be considered a quintessential Berkshire experience. The crowds arrive with picnic baskets and blankets in hand, looking forward to the experience of listening to one of the country’s finest symphony orchestras perform outside on a fair summer evening. Tanglewood hosts a number of exciting events over the summer, including Tanglewood on Parade, which Don’t Move Firewood attended this August.

 

With the recent discovery that the Emerald Ash Borer has reached Boston, MA, our booth was especially relevant to the fair portion of the 30,000 guests that came in from the greater Boston area. Unfortunately, eradication on a large scale is no longer feasible for the emerald ash borer, making our message of slowing the insect particularly important.

 

dont move firewood summer intern outreach booth

 

On this particular day, our work was very much appreciated by those who stopped to talk with us. I saw how concerned and emotional many individuals became upon learning that the emerald ash borer had reached New England’s largest city. One woman was extremely upset and shared with me that she had been working hard to keep a 100 year old ash tree on her property healthy over the years. Another couple was concerned knowing that they had recently bought land containing many ash trees just north of Boston in New Hampshire; wondering how long it would be before their ash were under attack. Although most people who I spoke with had never heard of the emerald ash borer, realizing that it had become a present threat to the forests surrounding their homes, they were committed to learning more and invested in understanding what they could do to mitigate the problem. To most, I suggested that they take some of our pamphlets and insect identification cards and give them to neighbors and friends to increase awareness in their hometowns.

 

In addition to our timely relevance to the Boston community, this specific event targets a group of people who especially need to understand the impact of transporting firewood. The Berkshires is a popular vacation destination for those in the greater Boston area and the NYC metropolitan area who seek an opportunity to take a break from the city life. As thousands pour into Berkshire County every weekend, the risk of bringing in infested firewood increases. By attending popular tourist destinations in the Berkshires, such as Tanglewood, we can reach the people who we especially encourage to buy firewood locally to reduce the threat of introducing invasive species to the Berkshire forests.

Booth visits the Northeast Organic Farming Association

A weekend of vegetables, rabbits, and invasive species education

By Ariel Kirk

 

In early August, Katie and I set up the Don’t Move Firewood both at the NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) conference at the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst, MA.  The event was busy with seminars and workshops for both the aspiring organic farmer and tips to improve the methods of those in the know for decades.  People could learn about farming with draft horses, teens could take workshops on raising goats and rabbits, what were the best options to fight garden and farm pests without using chemicals, and how to market that bumper crop of great veggies when the harvest is ready. It was interesting to see the variety of products being sold – and the variety of questions we were getting at the Don’t Move Firewood booth.

 

One of the more common questions was about the odd purple box that we have on display, and how it relates to the emerald ash borer.  These purple “traps” are actually survey tools that help biologists search for the emerald ash borer more efficiently.  The traps are a specific purple color that emerald ash borers are attracted to, and then they have a very sticky substance that catches any beetle that tries to land on the purple panels. Biologists then periodically check these traps, allowing the experts to better located new infestations of emerald ash borer. The trees with these traps in them are labeled, with an explanation is given on a plaque for the public to read…which is great if you’re hiking and come across one, but easy to miss if you are driving past.

emerald ash borer on purple trap panel

Some of the visitors to our booth didn’t initially understand the message of “Don’t Move Firewood” when they first read our banner, but once we explained the concept of the issue a light bulb went off and they were making great connections to similar problems in their area- Zebra mussels in the Great Lakes and other waterways across the nation, Asian carp disrupting native aquatic ecosystems, and many invasive plant species crowding out native plants and skewing the regional environmental balance.  All of these instances are great examples of introduced species that have had a negative effect on the native environments, just like how the invasive insects we talk about have a dramatic negative effect on our forests.

 

Now, next time you see those odd purple boxes hanging in the trees off the side of the road you’ll know exactly what they’re for and how they’re helping scientists keep tabs on the emerald ash borer in the region.

EAB purple trap tree emerald ash borer

Heels are for dancing, not for bug squishing

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and Firewood, Guest blog by TNC Summer Staff Ariel Kirk

Here at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale, NY, contra dancing is king!  Contra dancing is similar to square dancing – you dance with a partner as the steps are called and then join up with other partners to form larger, more intricate dances as the song progresses. All those foot stomps and counting steps reminded me of something “buggy”…if you ever encounter any potential invasive insects, it’s better to take a photo and call the hotline than to just squish them flat!

We had a great number of visitors to our Don’t Move Firewood booth at Falcon Ridge that were initially thinking that the best course of action, if they come across these critters, would be to squish them. Not so! Killing one insect out of a larger population really won’t help matters, but if you document that insect with a photograph and contact the right authorities (like your state department of agriculture, or a local knowledgeable master gardener if you can’t quite figure it out) in your area, you’d be a huge help. Biologists can then investigate the insect or tree symptom and determine the best course of action in that location. Your report might be much needed information, allowing the experts to track the invasive species and have the most up to date statistics on the health of our trees and our forests.

don't move firewood summer intern booth

Some visitors to the booth were wondering how to procure firewood for their camping needs if they can’t bring it with them.  That’s a great question.  Many state parks won’t allow you to bring in firewood any more because invasive species are such a problem to our native ecosystem, so you’ll need to plan ahead. In most cases, you’ll be buying firewood from a local grocery store or gas station. First, check out the bag. The best type of wood has a shield-like emblem on the bag from USDA- APHIS that certifies the wood has been heat-treated to the correct temperature and duration to ensure it is safe to use and no hitchhiking insects are within the wood. And don’t worry- no pesticides or chemicals are used for treating the wood, it is just heated to a high temperature for a specific amount of time designed to kill any insects or pathogens in or on the firewood.

heat treated firewood shield symbol USDA APHIS

 

Happy camping to you and contra dance your heart out!

Nine National Park Firewood Policies

Millions of people will visit a National Park this summer, so we here at Don't Move Firewood have investigated the current firewood recommendations, restrictions, and regulations for some of the most visited parks. Keeping in mind that the National Park guidance document, Reducing ecological risks associated with pests in firewood: Guidance for park managers, was only published in June 2014, it is completely understandable that the different parks would still have very different policies in place.

 

In alphabetical order, here are eight of the most visited parks that have firewood policies, plus a bonus park at the end!

 

1. Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park Camping Regulations Page: "Firewood brought in from other areas may contain non-native insect species that pose a serious threat to Acadia National Park's resources. Quarantines have been issued for some areas. Please leave your firewood at home. Firewood is available locally near both Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds. For more information, see the pest alert (PDF-188KB) produced by the National Park Service."

 

2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park has firewood policies in place, but regrettably we were unable to find a single official park webpage that summarized them.

– "Firewood is provided; you may not bring additional firewood/kindling into the park" from Reserve America, Know Before You Go Section.

– "If you are renting a park shelter, firewood will be provided for you—do not bring your own." Emerald ash borer educational handout for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

– "Use firewood that is provided in the storage shed. Do not gather wood within the park." Camping Regulations handout from Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park

 

3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (updated for 2015)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Firewood Alert: "Beginning in March 2015, only heat-treated firewood that is bundled and displays a certification stamp by the USDA or a state department of agriculture will be allowed for use in (Great Smoky Mountains National Park) campgrounds. Campers may also collect dead and down wood found in the park for campfires. Certified heat-treated firewood is packaged and clearly marked with a state or federal seal. Heat-treated wood is available from a growing list of private businesses in communities around the park."

 

4. Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park Buy It Where You Burn It Page: "Buy firewood near where you will burn it- that means the wood was cut within 50 miles of where you'll have your fire."

 

5. Ozark National Scenic Riverway

Ozark National Scenic Riverway Don’t Move Firewood Page: "Get your firewood from a seller close to your destination. Don't pack your own firewood for use at your campsite or cabin."

 

6. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park Campgrounds Page: "Campers are encouraged to purchase firewood in the area where they are camping. Out-of-state firewood is discouraged as it may hold harmful insects which could spread in our neighborhood."

 

7. Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park Firewood Ban Page: "Visitors to Shenandoah National Park may not bring firewood or wood scraps. Visitors must gather or purchase firewood within the park."

Additional informational from Reserve America, Know before You Go Section for Shenandoah National Park:

"LEAVE YOUR FIREWOOD AT HOME!! One of the most important things we can do to protect Virginia's trees and forest diversity is stop moving firewood. New infestations of tree-killing insects and diseases are often first found in campgrounds and parks. Why? Because people have accidently spread invasive species when they brought firewood along with them. In Virginia, there are numerous counties under quarantines, issued by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, due to an invasive insect pest or disease. These quarantines restrict the movement of firewood or wood by products from certain tree species. Moving firewood in violation of a quarantine is a class 1 misdemeanor and upon conviction, you could be subject to; confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine of $2,500.00 or both … PLAY IT SAFE – LEAVE YOUR FIREWOOD AT HOME!!"

 

8. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park Campground Regulations: "We discourage visitors from bringing firewood from more than 50 miles away to prevent spread of forest pests. You can purchase firewood at stores near most campgrounds."

 

BONUS PARK- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Firewood in the Lakeshore page: "The Lakeshore has a new firewood policy that will allow campers the warmth of their fires and help prevent and slow the spread of forest pests and diseases. According to the firewood policy, campers may use only firewood acquired from vendors approved by the National Lakeshore and not bring firewood from home. Bringing firewood into the park from anywhere else can rapidly spread destructive pests such as hemlock woolly adelgid, beech bark disease, Asian longhorn beetle, and oak wilt; as it did the emerald ash borer."

Why did we include Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore? It isn't among the most visited parks, but it does have excellent policies in place to slow the spread of firewood vectored pests, so it is an official Honorable Mention in our National Parks list!

Upswing in Asian Gypsy Moth populations seen in native range

There are no known permanently established populations of Asian gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar asiatica) in North America– but in order to keep the continent free of this pest, it is critical for forest health professionals to learn about its current status.

 

Recent reports from USDA APHIS and US Customs and Border Protection indicate that Asian gypsy moth populations are in a general cyclical upswing in their native range of Russia and Japan. This means that the chance that this moth is accidentally brought to North America on shipping container surfaces is higher than usual- which in turn means that Western port communities need to be on high alert.

 

"Asian Gypsy Moth activity was anticipated to be high at the beginning of the 2014 season, and is anticipated to be yet higher in 2015. At this point we have seen high populations in both Russia and Japan. USDA APHIS is receiving regular reports from these countries to monitor the situation. The busy season for AGM is from June through September, and at this point in the 2014 season Customs and Border Protection has inspected approximately 1600 vessels and found four vessels in US ports with positive AGM egg masses – all from Japanese ports of origin. The Japanese inspection companies have had removed adult moths or egg masses from 82 ships in 44 different Japanese ports during pre-departure procedures. The success rate of the inspection companies in Japan, for ships bound for North America, is over 99%." William Wesela, Asian Gypsy Moth Program Director, USDA APHIS PPQ.

 

Knowing that these egg masses are making it to North American ports, even if extremely rarely, underscores the high importance of looking for and reporting possible individual moths, egg cases, or infestations of any gypsy moths outside of the known infested area in Eastern US and Canada (official map here) – especially in Western port cities. Gypsy moths (of both the Asian and European types) can be and have been eradicated when found in isolated infestations, and the key to eradication is rapid detection of each isolated new gypsy moth population. While the Asian gypsy moth looks incredibly similar to the European gypsy moth, it is different because of two key aspects: the wider range of tree species it can destroy, and the female adult moths can fly (unlike the European gypsy moth, whose females are flightless). This makes detecting potential infestations of Asian gypsy moth incredibly important to the health of North American trees.
asian gypsy moth shown with moth trap in Russia

Russian official observing Asian gypsy moth trap with high local moth densities in Olga, Russia. Credit: USDA APHIS PPQ (ed. note: all the white specks are individual Asian gypsy moths)

 

One of the most important tenets of Don’t Move Firewood is to be proactive with precaution. We often get questions on our e-hotline like “Can I move some seasoned old firewood? Any bugs must be long gone, right?” and our response is always the same “No, please don’t, it might harbor pests like gypsy moths.” Gypsy moths, in particular, can infest firewood or lumber scraps regardless of how long the wood was aged– and their egg cases can look very much like an otherwise innocent little patch of mold.

 

Western North American port communities, especially those receiving a lot of shipments from Japan and Russia (such as Long Beach, Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver), need to include Asian gypsy moth in their forest pest outreach programs and materials. Teaching the public about the importance of looking for gypsy moths, and not moving firewood, is critical to finding pests like these early enough to launch a successful eradication program. Just because you don’t have a recorded quarantine does NOT mean that you might not have a small unknown infestation in your community.

 

Here are resources on the topics of Asian Gypsy Moth and European Gypsy Moth

 

 

 

 

 

Tunes, Bugs, and Balloons!

Tunes, Bugs, and Balloons with the Don't Move Firewood booth

by Ariel Kirk

 

The Don’t Move Firewood summer education booth spent a great weekend in Greenfield MA at the Green River Festival for the 4th summer in a row! This year we were stationed on the lower field with a beautiful, open area reaching all the way to the river.  It was great to feel that breeze off the water occasionally and use our handy Don’t Move Firewood fans to battle the summer sun.  Our neighboring booth, Deerfield River Watershed Alliance, told us that there were even shuttles available to festival-goers that would take them for a dip in the river.

 

Our booth was hopping with all the interested people checking out our emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle specimens.  Many of the patrons were familiar with us from past years and were excited to see us back.  Some had new questions or were concerned with how far the invasive species, specifically the emerald ash borer, have been spreading.  It was great to interact with so many people and to continue to spread the word about how damaging non-native insects can be to our native forests.

emerald ash borer at don't move firewood both Green River Festival

 

This great site also gave us perfect seats after-hours when the hot air balloons began to rise into the air.  Folks could choose to go on a hot air balloon adventure, a la Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, or stay affixed safely to the ground by a giant rope but still have a great view from the basket of the floating balloon.  Watching people unfurl the balloons and seeing them rise in the air was a great sight and one of my favorite experiences at the Green River Festival.

green river festival with don't move firewood

Don’t Move Firewood at Grey Fox 2014

Finding Fame at Grey Fox

by Katie Robb

 

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is unlike any event I’ve ever been to before. First off, there are easily over 4,000 campers there to enjoy bluegrass 24/7. However, what’s impressive is not the sheer number of campers, but their style of camping. These people are some of the most serious campers I’ve ever seen. Some may simply pop up a tent and call it good enough, but others set up what can only be considered a compound; networks of tents and giant canopies, kitchens, showers, carpets, lounge chairs, and the occasional flagpole. But what really blew me away was how many of the visitors to our booth already knew about the Emerald Ash Borer or the Asian Longhorned Beetle.

emerald ash borer costume and asian longhorned beetle costume

I had to completely switch up how I talked to people at our booth at Grey Fox. Instead of giving an overview, I dove right into the nitty gritty. Learning how to identify the insects and their indicators was a common request this weekend.  For many, the chance to see our Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorned Beetle specimens was their first time seeing the real thing; even for people who live in areas where these insects are present. On top of that, there were a lot of eager individuals who asked to take home a stack of our pamphlets so that they could educate their friends and family. Often times I found myself getting sidetracked talking to people about other invasive species that they were interested in or had experience with. When we dressed up in costume, there were so many people who flocked to us wanting to take pictures with the Asian Longhorned Beetle and the Emerald Ash Borer. I figured this must be what it feels like to be famous.

 

 

Grey Fox was easily one of my favorite festivals of the summer so far, and I can’t wait to go back next year. If you’re into bluegrass, I recommend you go sometime. I’d also like to add, if you’re into anything that relies on the presence of a healthy forest (i.e. clean air, firewood, natural beauty, outdoor activities, anything built from wood, etc.), I recommend that you stop by our booth or check out our website to learn more about what you can do to protect our trees.

Speaking for the Trees

Speaking for the Trees @ Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival

By Katie Robb, Don't Move Firewood Summer Intern

 

Our second event of the summer was a huge success. We reached nearly 1,000 people over the course of the weekend while at Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival in Croton-On-Hudson, NY. There were many visitors who remembered us from years past; some even said that we’re their favorite booth! One teenage boy has been collecting our prize wheel give-aways, with the goal of getting something new every year. This time he walked away with one of our new trucker hats to add to his Don’t Move Firewood collection. Needless to say, he’s practically an expert on the Asian Longhorned Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer at this point.

 

Upon arriving at Clearwater on Friday night, we were directed to set up our booth in the Activist Area. It was at that moment that I found myself in a humorous situation. I attended a college which is known for being very liberal and rife with activism. However, over the course of my four years in school I was averse to becoming involved in the hot political issues on campus. I was probably as un-activist as you could get. Ironically, I now find myself working as an activist this summer; I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues (as Dr. Seuss’ Lorax would say). Clearly there are issues that make an activist out of me and I just hadn’t realized it yet.

 

Spending my weekends dressed in an Emerald Ash Borer costume and talking to people about the risk of transporting tree-killing invasive insects when moving firewood is really exciting. The highlight of my weekend was when I connected with an individual who admitted to recently cutting down a tree in their back yard with the intention of making firewood to use when camping. They realized that they could’ve unknowingly jeopardized their favorite summer camping spot in Maine by bringing firewood along with them from their home in Connecticut, and then promptly agreed to buy firewood local to the campsite. It’s encouraging to see that the effort I make can have an immediate impact on reducing the threat to our forests’ health. Although, I can’t claim all the credit, visitors to our booth often take our education materials for their friends and family who they know use firewood for camping or heating their homes. A cooperative effort gives our beloved maples, willows, birch, elm, and ash trees (to name a few!) the chance to stand tall for generations to come.

 

So I suppose it’s time to admit that I’m actually an activist. In retrospect, The Lorax was always one of my favorite books growing up as a child.