Reducing the Transport of
Pests & Pathogens In Firewood

Reducing the Transport of
Pests & Pathogens In Firewood

Welcome to the National Plant Board Firewood Working Group Guidelines, a professional resource consisting of current scientific, regulatory, outreach, and management strategies on the issue of forest pest transport within the U.S. firewood pathway.

In an attempt to limit the transfer of pests across state lines in firewood, these guidelines provide information on the process of drafting new or revising current state-based regulations pertaining to firewood, share case studies of states that have already approached firewood quarantines, provide examples of strategies beyond regulation that could enhance a state’s overall response to the firewood pathway, and give selected recommendations or examples within these strategies.

These Guidelines are a library of resources for voluntary use. The National Plant Board will not, and cannot, require any entity to implement any of the recommendations within this document.

The movement of firewood is a significant pathway for the introduction and spread of invasive forest pests and pathogens, and addressing the issue of firewood transportation is complex. Firewood producers range from large-scale with national distribution networks to local and seasonal producers selling firewood to supplement their income. Firewood is used for both structure heating purposes and recreation. Because of the cross-section of the general public involved in firewood transportation, and challenges of identifying individuals transporting firewood, the firewood pathway is not realistically addressed solely through regulatory approaches.

RegulationsOutreachBest Management Practices
  • Can be used to prohibit firewood movement or restrict the distance and type of firewood moved.
  • Are most effective when they include mechanisms for enforcement and assessing penalties for violations.

The NPB Firewood Working Group has created a firewood regulation template and supporting materials for states to use if they are interested in pursuing a new or modified regulation.

  • Recommendations target campers and users of recreational firewood.
  • Is important especially with outdoor enthusiasts moving firewood who are difficult to regulate.

The NPB Firewood Working Group has created materials for states to consider including developing a key message, working with high-value partners, creating a state-managed firewood webpage, focusing on outcomes, working with campgrounds, and creating a state specific on-line firewood directory.

  • Address firewood used for structure heating, by providing tools for industries and consumers to reduce the risk of spreading invasive species.
  • Will not eliminate pest introduction but should be promoted by states to protect in state movement of firewood to improve quality.

The NPB Firewood Working Group has curated BMPs targeted to producers and consumers of firewood.