Publications on firewood movement and human behavior

The issue of forest pests being moved on contaminated firewood is inherently not due to the firewood itself- but instead it is a product of people’s needs, wants, opinions, choices, beliefs, and access to relevant information. With that in mind, here at Don’t Move Firewood we thought it’d be good to summarize the papers, documentation, and research projects that have focused intentionally on the people aspect- an informal literature review of the social science of why people move firewood.

— This list is under development, expected to be finalized May 2019–

Daigle, J.J., C.L. Straub, J.E. Leahy, S.M. De Urioste-Stone, D.J. Ranco, and N.W. Siegert. 2018. How campers’ beliefs about forest pests affect firewood transport behavior: an application of involvement theory. Forest Science. https://doi.org/10.1093/forsci/fxy056

Diss-Torrance, A.; Peterson, K; Robinson, C. Reducing Firewood Movement by the Public: Use of Survey Data to Assess and Improve Efficacy of a Regulatory and Educational Program, 2006–2015, Forests 2018, 9(2), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020090

Koch, F.; Yemshanov, D.; Magarey, R.; Smith, W. Dispersal of Invasive Forest Insects via Recreational Firewood: A Quantitative Analysis. J. Econ. Entomol. 105(2):438-450. https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/40483

Peterson, K.; Diss-Torrance, A. Motivations for rule compliance in support of forest health: Replication and extension. J. Environ. Manag. 2014, 139, 135–145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.02.036,  PetersonMotivationsForComplianceReplication

Peterson, K.; Diss-Torrance, A. Motivation for compliance with environmental regulations related to forest health. J. Environ. Manag. 2012, 112, 104–119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.06.023

Peterson, K.; Nelson, E. Firewood Use in Wisconsin State Parks and Forests: 2006 and 2008 (Wisconsin) Bureau of Science Services. PetersonFirewoodWisconsin20062008

Robertson, D.; Andow, D. (Working Paper, 2009). Human-mediated dispersal of emerald ash borer: Significance of the firewood pathway.  https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/…pdf

Runberg, D. 2011. Educating Pacific Northwest Campers on the Risk of Spreading Invasive Forest Pests through Firewood: Developing a Mental Model. Master of Public Policy Essay, Oregon State University. PNWCamperStudy_RunbergMPP2011

Siegert, P.Y., B. Nowell, M. Michaelis, N. McShinsky and N.W. Siegert. 2015. The invasive species Cannonball Run: A case study of firewood movement to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. P. 91–92 in Proc. of the 2014 emerald ash borer research and technology meeting, Buck, J., G. Parra, D. Lance, R. Reardon, and D. Binion (eds.). USDA Forest Health Technology Expertise Team (FHTET-2015-07), Morgantown, WV. SiegertInvasiveSppCannonballRunAbstract

Tobin, P.C.; Diss-Torrance, A.; Blackburn, L.M.; Brown, B.D. What Does “Local” Firewood Buy You? Managing the Risk of Invasive Species Introduction. J. Econ. Entomol. 2010, 103, 1569–1576. https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/40590, https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/jrnl/2010/nrs_2010_tobin_002.pdf

 

Spring yard cleaning tips

Spring yard cleaning season is well under way, and here at Don’t Move Firewood we’d like to share some pointers on how you can best dispose of your yard waste to minimize the spread of invasive species. It is important to realize that all types of yard waste- including tree branches, brush, leaves, and clippings- can potentially harbor invasive insects and diseases. Therefore, if you dispose of yard waste (sometimes also called “green waste”) incorrectly, you could unintentionally start a new pest infestation.

For smaller yard debris from your own yard, such as leafy thin branches, evergreen needles and cones, green clippings, or brushy materials, it is best to either let it break down naturally on site (whether through backyard composting, or just a standard brush pile) or through municipal composting (if available). In some areas under quarantine for emerald ash borer or Asian longhorned beetle, there are specific wood disposal areas called “marshalling yards” for safely disposing of quarantined woody waste items. It is NOT advisable to use your leafy material for fill on other properties, and of course it is never a good idea to dump it or otherwise dispose of it illegally.

For woody materials, such as tree trunks or medium-to-larger branches from your own property, these can either be chipped on site for mulch, bucked and split into firewood for use on site, or brought to a municipal composting facility (if available).

Because pest infestations can take years to be recognized by the authorities, let alone homeowners, it is critical to remember that even trees and shrubs that appear healthy could be harboring harmful organisms. Even well seasoned firewood should be used locally- preferably on site- and not taken long distances for camping.

Many states have regulations or quarantines relating to the movement of firewood- which can include things like cut logs and branches. For a complete map of firewood regulations, visit our Firewood Regulation and Recommendation Map.

Here are some tips for what to do with fallen branches or tree trunks on your property:

  • Make it into firewood and use it in your own fireplace, wood stove, BBQ, or outdoors fire pit! Logs and cut branches should be split and dried in a covered stack for at least six months (and preferably longer) to “season” it. Properly dried “seasoned” firewood burns hotter and creates less air pollution.
  • If you don’t want to keep this firewood on site, don’t be tempted to take it with you when camping this spring or summer. Instead, you can give it to your next-door neighbor for their home heating use, or burn or chip it on site, or dispose of it at a municipal composting facility or a quarantined area marshalling yard.
  • Hire a tree service or rent a tree chipper to shred your fallen trees and branches on site into mulch to use in your own garden beds and landscaping projects.
  • If a yard waste recycling or municipal composting program is not available- and you cannot leave the materials on site to break down naturally nor do you want to make it into firewood- your brush, logs, and branches should be disposed of in a local landfill.

Webinar: How campers’ beliefs affect firewood transport, March 19

Join us for a FOCI webinar, How campers’ beliefs affect firewood transport, on Tuesday March 19th 2019 at 2pm Eastern (11am Pacific, Noon Mountain, 1pm Central). This webinar will share results of an on-site survey of campers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and how their beliefs about forest pests affected firewood transport.  A joint presentation will be given by John Daigle, Professor in the School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, Orono, Maine; Crista Straub, Social Scientist with the Social & Economic Analysis Branch, US Geological Service, Fort Collins, Colorado; and Nate Siegert, Forest Entomologist, US Forest Service, Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry, Forest Health Protection, Durham, New Hampshire. The format of the webinar will be approximately 40 minutes of presentations, and 20 minutes of open discussion on assessing the effectiveness of outreach and education efforts and links to current research and management of invasive species.