What about moving lumber?

Dear Don’t Move Firewood-

I understand firewood cannot be transported over 50 miles in New York state. My question is regarding lumber from trees cut on my property and sawed into 2×4’s and similar lumber on site. Is this still covered by the transportation regulations?


DIY Lumber Yard

Dear DIY Lumber Yard-

Dimensional lumber (such as 2x4s) is often, although not always, regulated in a different way than firewood. The easiest way to understand why differences exist is to think about the basic final product of dimensional lumber (should be clean, straight, strong, generally without more than a speck or two of bark) versus the final product of firewood (doesn’t really need to be clean, burns fine even if it is warped or has big holes or cracks in it, typically has large swaths of bark still attached).

Firewood therefore presents a higher risk because of both the general acceptable quality of the wood being lower, and the presence of raw edge and bark. Lumber is a lower general risk due to the need for intact strong wood, and the milling process removing the majority of the live edge and bark. These are gross generalities to illustrate why they are often regulated separately.

Now, in the case of your specific question- lumber milled in a backyard facility in the state of New York- I urge you to consult with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC). While a preliminary reading of their regulations does indicate that the rules are very different for kiln dried dimensional lumber, you don’t say that you are kiln drying. Therefore, it is extremely important to check with the NYDEC before moving your potential wood product within New York.

New York Resources:


Using our Don’t Move Firewood logo

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

May I use your link as an image to post on our city website for (site)?  I could just use the hyperlink, but I like the bold image as folks may be more inclined to hit on that.  I wanted to gain your permission first.  Thank you.

Yours, Thoughtful Educator

Dear Thoughtful Educator,

Yes! Any local, city, state, or federal governmental agency is welcome to use our logo to help get the attention of the public to the issue of moving firewood. Additionally, any non-profit or educational group can use our logo to promote the concept of not moving firewood on their website, handouts, and other promotional products.

When it comes to scenarios of for-profit (business) use of our logo, that’s a little trickier. A business can use our logo ONLY in the context of an educational material, and the use of the logo can in no way be made to look like a seal of approval, certification seal, or any other false use to promote a business or product. Only purely informational and educational use is permitted by businesses. Failure to comply with this requirement is a violation of both our trust, and multiple governmental regulations on our non-profit status, and is not permitted.

For a complete listing of our logos, please visit our Toolbox.

Firewood Scout going national!

Guest blog authored by Jessica Simons, Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and Development Council


Thanks to the tireless work of so many organizations and agencies, the phrase “Don’t Move Firewood” is an increasingly common refrain among campers and outdoors enthusiasts. However, this message often brings about an immediate follow-up question: “So, where should I get it?”


Michigan developed a unique response to that problem in 2012, when the Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and Development Council (SEMIRCD) launched Firewood Scout (http://firewoodscout.org) through support from the USDA Forest Service. This website holds a basic directory of Michigan’s firewood vendors that is searchable via the Google maps platform, encouraging both desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile users to find local sources for firewood before they travel. In the site’s first few years of operation, it proved to be a simple, user-friendly, and cost-effective method for providing important information that can help empower customers to make better decisions regarding firewood.


image: Firewood Scout front page, Michigan only (2012 through early 2015 version)


As interest in this model grew nationwide, the staff at Don’t Move Firewood approached the SEMIRCD to propose a new version of firewood scout that could expand to include other geographies that were calling out for a similar resource. With support from both the Forest Health Protection Program of The Nature Conservancy, and the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a small Firewood Scout working group was formed in 2014 and has provided essential resources to expand the site to a national level. Three states – California, Tennessee, and Wisconsin – have already been identified as pilot states for the newly-redesigned site and will be included in Firewood Scout in advance of the summer recreational season. Additional partner states will be recruited later in the year via the following general criteria: willingness to participate, ability to commit in-state staff time for startup and database management time, presence of a central body to garner support from multiple parties (i.e. state invasives species council or similar stakeholder group), and demonstrated long term commitment in curbing the movement of forest pests via the firewood vector in that state.


image: Firewood Scout front page, National version (launching February 2015!)


For more information about Firewood Scout, please contact Jessica Simons, with the Southeast Michigan RC&D Council at 517-851-2372 or jessica.simons@semircd.org.