Certification Programs

I. Minnesota

Summary Statement: Firewood producers are eligible for certification if they demonstrate the ability to heat their firewood to either the 60˚C for 60 minutes or 71.1˚C for 75 minutes heat treatment standard. The lower standard is the minimum for participation in the program, but Minnesota will include the higher treatment on the producer’s stamp if needed for interstate shipments.

Benefit: Consumer demand for certified firewood; especially from gas stations and convenience stores that may not wish to risk any potential complications involved with selling non-certified firewood.

Advantages: State uses Federal heat treatment standards to help ensure product uniformity. Permanent staff dedicated to firewood helps ensure consistency.

Disadvantages: Annual certification fee ($2,000) may be a barrier to some smaller producers.

II. Wisconsin

Summary Statement: The DATCP Certified Firewood dealer program offers certification to producers that either heat-treat to the 60˚C for 60-minute standard, that season their firewood for a full 24 months, or conduct an alternate approved practice. Certified wood is required to be safeguarded from gypsy moth re-infestation. Early in the program, debarking firewood was a certified process. Debarking was removed as a treatment option due to concerns from insects and pathogens present below the outer cambium layer.

Benefit: Provides ability to meet certification requirements of other states as well as State of Wisconsin requirements that firewood brought onto state lands must be from within 10 miles of the property or ‘certified’. State officials wanted to provide a certification program that was not tied to a specific pest quarantine so the program would remain durable through the up and downs of new pest discovery, spread, and potential deregulation.

Advantages: A seasoning option makes certification a possibility for smaller producers that can’t afford to invest in a kiln. The annual certification fee ($50) is very low and makes the program widely accessible to producers. State staff is trained to test firewood kilns and has the ability to test and vouch for producers that wish to treat at the higher 71.1˚C for 75 minutes standard thereby facilitating export to states like New York or Florida that require that treatment level. An established certification program also means that permanent staff is available to help state firewood producers navigate the sometimes complex world of firewood and quarantine regulation (ex: Florida’s Master Permit system).

Disadvantages: Wisconsin Certified Firewood is not necessarily recognized as ‘certified’ by other states because the seasoning option is not generally accepted. Costs of the necessary temperature probes can be expensive, and staff and travel time is expected to increase when emerald ash borer deregulation occurs. Currently DATCP and USDA share data and inspection notes, resulting in savings for both agencies.