Best Management Practices are a Powerful Tool
Use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) by firewood producers, firewood consumers, and individuals cutting firewood for personal use is the preferred tool to reduce, but not eliminate, the risks associated with firewood used for structure heating. There are essentially two audiences moving and consuming firewood in the USA – those using it recreationally, and those using it as a primary or secondary energy source to heat their homes or cabins. Minimizing risks for the two audiences requires substantially different information, actions, and management techniques. Reducing risks associated with recreational or ambiance firewood, including cooperative efforts with campgrounds, is covered in the Outreach section.
How BMPs Work
Incorporation of BMPs into a state’s firewood risk mitigation program reduces the probability of pest introductions on firewood used for structure heating (homes, cabins, garages, and other dwellings or outbuildings). BMPs are measures that can be applied at specific stages of the firewood production process to reduce the risk of having live pests transported in or on firewood. Promoting use of BMPs provides the firewood industry with the opportunity to integrate practices that reduce the likelihood of spreading unwanted pests. BMPs are most effective when their use is widely adopted by producers and consumers of firewood throughout a state or region. BMPs that reduce pest risks while promoting high-quality firewood are more likely to be adopted. Consideration should be given as to how the use of BMPs will be encouraged or required by a state.
States have multiple audiences that may be targeted with firewood BMPs. Any description of BMPs to the target audience should include why the specific BMP is recommended. Potential audiences include:
- Firewood producers, distributors, and vendors.
- Consumers of firewood for structure heating.
- Individuals cutting firewood for personal use in structure heating.
Advancing use of BMPs
BMPs are more likely to be incorporated if they are achievable and there is a consistent effort to promote their use. States should consider how to leverage partnerships, cooperating agencies, and existing opportunities in order to encourage broader BMP adoption.
- Identify partners: states should identify organizations in their state or region that are already working with firewood producers, vendors, and consumers. This list will vary from state to state.
- Identify opportunities: states should look for existing opportunities to provide training materials to those involved in the production or consumption of firewood.
- Identify incentives: states should consider if there is a way to incentivize use of BMPs. For instance, will use of BMPs allow issuance of a Compliance Agreement or participation in a firewood Certification Program? Can the state develop materials or a recognition program demonstrating to customers that they are using BMPs to reduce phytosanitary risk?
- Post BMPs: BMP documents should be available on an identified Firewood Pathway Specific webpage and presented in other formats to target audiences.
Best Management Practices
Producers, Distributors, & Vendors