The Importance of an Effective Website
Transporting firewood risks spreading invasive forest pests farther and faster than they can move on their own. The firewood pathway can be complex, encompassing large-scale producers, small-scale producers, those cutting firewood for personal use, and recreational firewood transporters. There may be multiple agencies or entities within a state that have some contact with firewood transportation, and it benefits agencies in the state as well as residents and visitors to the state to have a common source of information about existing firewood regulations, BMPs, and outreach.
Partners within the state that are responsible for plant health protection, forest health, state-led invasive species groups, and outdoor recreation (such as state parks authorities) should have a role in the development and wording of the webpage.
Each state should identify an official webpage (or a location where a new webpage may be created within an existing website) for general information about the firewood pathway. This webpage should focus on the firewood pathway rather than on a specific pest, and can simply be a single new or improved webpage off of an existing website. Examples of this type of webpage include: California’s Firewood Task Force, New Hampshire’s NHBugs, New York’s Firewood and Invasive Pests page, and Pennsylvania Dept. Agriculture’s Firewood page. Once the webpage is developed, and approved by participating partners within the state, then all of the partners should create their own links to that webpage. The state should contact The Nature Conservancy to update the list of links on the individual state summary page of Don’t Move Firewood.
Recommended Content on Page (suggested in order as presented)
Rules and regulations about firewood transport into the state, or within the state, in plain language: If there are state regulations in place about the importation of out-of-state firewood, movement of firewood from quarantine areas, movement of firewood within the state, etc., they should be clearly and simply stated here. Please also include a link or reference to the specific regulations.
- Example language:
- “It is against Pennsylvania’s regulations to bring all types of out-of-state firewood into the state including hardwood, softwood, kiln-dried, seasoned and green. Packaged heat treated firewood with a stamp showing treatment of at least core temperature of 160°F (71°C) for a minimum of 75 minutes is permitted, kiln-dried and fumigated packaged firewood with the producer’s name and address on the label is also exempt from the quarantine.”
- “It is illegal to bring firewood into the state of Oregon from a state outside of the Pacific Northwest (OR, WA, ID). Certified heat treated firewood can be brought into Oregon from states outside of the Pacific Northwest only with proper documentation.”
Intra-state recommendations or BMP’s for moving firewood: In addition to regulations, any agreed upon state-wide recommendations should be listed. These should be simple and bulleted.
- Example language:
- Do not bring firewood to [STATE] from out-of-state.
- Do not move firewood farther than 50 miles within [STATE].
Risk statement: This should be an approved firewood statement agreed upon by partners within the state. This is the core statement from the Outreach Overview and explains the risks of the pathway in clear non-technical language.
- Example Language: Protect [STATE]’s Trees: Transporting firewood long distances threatens our forests, trees, and neighborhoods by potentially giving a free ride to tree-killing insects and diseases. Forest pests like [one or two state forest pests of greatest concern] that might lurk in your firewood cannot move far on their own, but they can hitchhike to new locations in or on firewood, risking the start of new infestations. Protect [STATE]’s [trees/forests/parks and campgrounds/wild and scenic beauty/natural resources] by buying firewood near where you’ll burn it, gathering firewood on site when permitted, or buying heat-treated certified firewood [include heat-treated firewood as an option only in states where commercially available].
State-specific firewood outreach materials: Include 2-3 downloadable documents or images that are relevant and suitable for a general audience to download and print, that address the risks of moving firewood. Examples of existing outreach materials are available at DontMoveFirewood.org and additional customized outreach materials can be made by staff at DontMoveFirewood.org upon request, free of charge.
General advisory statement:Federal lands, tribal lands, private campgrounds, specific state parks, and others, may have implemented their own firewood policies or recommendations. In order to provide the most accurate information to visitors to the site, there should be a statement that encourages visitors to understand the firewood rules in place for their specific plans or destinations, prior to departing for their trip.
- Example Language: Private campgrounds, state lands, federal lands, tribal lands, and other entities may have and enforce their own firewood policies. Know what rules may be in place at your destination before you go. To learn more, visit DontMoveFirewood.org for a comprehensive list of firewood policies in each state.
Link to find local firewood vendors: Campers, hunters, and other outdoor recreationalists feel that they need firewood because they value the experience of a campfire during their visit. Firewood transportation is reduced when outdoor enthusiasts are confident they can fulfill that need with an alternative to bringing their own firewood, such as readily available local firewood for sale at or near their destination at an affordable price. Making it easier for people to find local firewood will provide them with the tools they need to make a better firewood choice for their trip while protecting the forest resources. If your state has an on-line firewood directory or participates in FirewoodScout.org, provide a link on the webpage to ensure it is easy to find.