New Hampshire’s Efforts to Help Campers Buy Local Firewood

Guest blog by Piera Siegert, State Entomologist, New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food

The forests of New Hampshire are an intrinsic part of the landscape, economy, and culture of northern New England. New Hampshire is the second most-densely forested state in the nation, with 84% of the land covered by trees. Many residents make or supplement their incomes through forest products or forest-based tourism, including recreation, timber and firewood sales, and maple syrup production. Many New Hampshire homes are heated primarily or secondarily with wood products. Wood chips from low-grade pulp are heating more homes and businesses and producing more electricity than ever before. The Granite State’s vibrant tourism economy thrives on those who come to enjoy our great forested outdoors – campers, hunters, skiers, hikers, and “leaf peepers” who relish the autumnal color backdrop to colonial buildings and steepled churches tucked throughout the state’s varied landscapes.

Consequently, the threat posed by invasive insects hitchhiking in firewood to New Hampshire’s economy and treasured working landscapes elevate the urgency of enlisting broader support for outreach about the risks associated with moving firewood. That’s the reason we are partnering with Don’t Move Firewood to promote “buy it where you burn it” principles. Recognizing that the tone of this outreach is critical to success, we emphasize that firewood rules are not about limiting the use of firewood, but rather the proper sourcing of firewood used in the state.

New Hampshire has out-of-state firewood restrictions – first affecting state parks (2009), then later the entire state (2011). An established emerald ash borer infestation in Concord was found shortly thereafter (2013) and, based on its location and other anecdotal evidence, all signs suggest the likely culprit to be infested out-of-state firewood transported into the state during the late 2000s. In 2015, several state agencies formed a working group to increase interagency cooperation and extend the reach of firewood transportation messaging. Participating agencies include the Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food, Dept. of Resources and Economic Development, Dept. of Fish and Game, Dept. of Safety, Dept. of Transportation, and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. We have been awarded Farm Bill 10007 funding for outreach projects targeting recreational transporters of firewood (2015 and 2016), have worked with Don’t Move Firewood to develop outreach materials, and recently joined Firewood Scout to help visitors connect to the state’s many local vendors of campfire wood.

We are excited about several new firewood-related projects in New Hampshire:

  • Large aluminum signs about firewood transportation installed at state Welcome Centers, and select state parks and other points of entry into the state.
  • An artificial “campfire” that can be used in “smoldering” or “blazing” mode at expos and other events to draw attention to firewood messaging (designed and built by Doug Cygan, the state’s Invasive Species Coordinator).
  • New Hampshire is the first northeastern state to join Firewood Scout. We made participation in Firewood Scout a priority, based on the idea that if consumers know competitively priced firewood is readily available at their destination, they may be less likely to bring firewood from home, thereby reducing the risk to our natural resources.
  • A ‘Firewood for Campers’ webpage available from (managed by UNH Cooperative Extension) that informs campers about firewood restrictions and provides access to Firewood Scout to help locate local firewood vendors. We are encouraging state and private campgrounds in the state to link to this page for accurate and up-to-date firewood information.
  • Dept. of Resources and Economic Development has partnered with NH Dept. of Corrections to install and operate a firewood-treatment kiln to supply local and certified heat-treated firewood for sale at New Hampshire state parks.
  • We have partnered with APHIS PPQ to ensure that several large firewood heat-treatment facilities in the state have been certified to safely ship their wood products nationally and internationally.
  • New Hampshire’s Forest Rangers have partnered with private entities and other state and federal agencies to conduct firewood checkpoints – looking for out-of-state firewood and providing education about the risks of moving firewood.
  • Participated in many outreach opportunities such as the NH Farm and Forest Expo (see below) and an upcoming EAB University webinar with the US Forest Service. Please join us April 14th at 11 am ET for more details about our firewood related activities in New Hampshire!

Messaging at the Farm and Forest Expo, Manchester, NH, January 22-23 2016. Multiple cooperating state agencies presented information about use and transportation of firewood. The artificial campfire under the Don’t Move Firewood aluminum road sign (above); Smokey Bear warming his hands at the artificial campfire (below).

You can access the digital versions of New Hampshire’s Don’t Move Firewood materials here:

Firewood from Texas to Kentucky?

Dear Don’t Move Firewood-

Can I transport firewood from Texas to Kentucky?

Yours, Road Trip Planner

Dear Road Trip Planner,

The state of Kentucky strongly advises not bringing firewood into Kentucky from out of state, regardless of which state it is coming from. In quite a few cases, it is illegal to transport firewood from Texas to Kentucky. For instance, it is illegal to bring firewood from out of state into any Kentucky State Park, and also against regulations to bring firewood from out of state into most National Parks within Kentucky. Further, it would be illegal to bring firewood that was stored outside on the ground from any federally quarantined areas for Imported Red Fire Ant, and the quarantined area for this pest is basically the entirety of Texas aside from the panhandle and the 9 west-most counties.

When you look at all these restrictions put together, you can see that it is either illegal, or just rather ill advised, to bring firewood from Texas to Kentucky. Instead, I’d urge you to use your Texas firewood in Texas, and purchase firewood upon reaching your destination in Kentucky. Good luck and thank you for asking!

For more information, visit:

Missouri Invasive Forest Pest Council outreach projects with Don’t Move Firewood

Guest blog by Robbie Doerhoff, Forest Health Specialist, Missouri Dept. of Conservation 

We’ve all heard Ben Franklin’s famous adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I doubt these wise words were inspired by tree-killing insects and diseases, but they do sum up how we approach invasive forest pests in Missouri. The past events and infestations in nearby states with emerald ash borer (EAB), spongy moth, and Asian longhorned beetle have taught us just how expensive—both ecologically and economically—that “pound of cure” can be, and how  incredibly important it is to keep those invasive forest pests out of Missouri in the first place. So, what’s Missouri’s “ounce of prevention”? Outreach! A large component of keeping pests out of Missouri is educating the people who may be bringing them into the state.

download the poster here

The pests we are most concerned about in Missouri are EAB, thousand cankers disease of black walnut, Asian longhorned beetle, and spongy moth. At this time, EAB is the only pest on this list that’s been detected in Missouri, and the entire state is now under the federal EAB quarantine. However, EAB has been detected in only 15 of our 114 counties, which means the other 99 counties are not currently known to have infested trees. Slowing the spread in Missouri  is as important now as ever.

Missouri’s 2016 plans for forest pest and firewood outreach include :

  • Developing a first detector program focused on forest pests
  • Using billboards in several locations around the state
  • Publishing large ads in Rural Missouri magazine (monthly circulation of 550k)
  • Distributing our new firewood pest rack card in state parks and nature centers
  • Displaying our new poster in both public and private campgrounds around the state
  • Hosting the “Alien Invaders” booth at the Missouri State Fair in August
  • Visiting with the woodworking community on regulations regarding walnut wood movement

Forest pest outreach within Missouri is coordinated by the Missouri Invasive Forest Pest Council, a group of agencies that partner on all activities related to forest pests. Our group includes the Missouri Departments of Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, USDA-NRCS, USDA Forest Service, and the University of Missouri Extension. Many of our 2016 outreach activities are funded through a cooperative agreement with USDA-APHIS.

Outreach materials we plan to use this year include four matching products (billboard, advertisement, poster, rack card) created for us by Don’t Move Firewood. We also plan to give away educational materials provided by Don’t Move Firewood, including stickers and insect tattoos.