DEEP: DEEP and CAES Remind Residents and Visitors to Leave Their Firewood Home

May 23, 2013
 
DEEP AND CAES Remind Residents and Visitors to Leave Their Firewood Home

Help Protect Connecticut’s Trees and Forests – Buy Local, Burn Local Firewood
 
With the start of the summer camping and vacation season this Memorial Day weekend, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station (CAES) today are emphasizing the risk of unknowingly spreading destructive wood boring insects, such as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), by transporting firewood into or out of Connecticut. 

“It is critical we stop the unintentional human transport of EAB and other harmful insects and the most effective way to do this is by not moving firewood,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty.  “Our goal is to reduce the economic and environmental damages this pest can cause and we need everyone’s cooperation to accomplish it.”

Earlier this week CAES confirmed the presence of EAB in Hamden which now joins eight other towns within New Haven County where EAB has already been detected.  The initial Connecticut EAB detection occurred July 2012 in Prospect.  When EAB was first discovered, DEEP and CAES moved to have regulations approved that prevent or limit the movement of firewood into and within Connecticut.  The Connecticut Department of Transportation, DEEP, and CAES are now completing a dedicated highway sign project reminding travelers that out-of-state firewood in any quantity is regulated.  Anyone transporting firewood into Connecticut requires documentation from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or from CAES depending on the origin of the firewood.  A series of illustrative maps showing required treatment and documentation for firewood transport within and into Connecticut can be found at DEEP: Regulation on Movement of Firewood.

DEEP State Parks also instituted a policy last summer designed to further protect trees and forests in State Park campgrounds.  Campers and visitors should not bring firewood from other states to Connecticut state park facilities.  If discovered, campers and visitors will be asked to burn their out-of-state firewood within 24 hours upon arrival unless the firewood has been heat treated to APHIS standards that assure destruction of wood-boring larvae.

DEEP urges all visitors to state park facilities to:
  • Leave firewood at home.  Buy firewood locally at or near the campground.
  • Burn all firewood at your campsite before you leave, never bring firewood home.
The Connecticut DEEP is participating in a national program that seeks to heighten public awareness regarding the environmental dangers of moving firewood over large distances.  For more information, visit the Don't Move Firewood website.

DEEP is also asking Connecticut residents to report possible EAB infestations (and other invasive insects such as the Asian Long-horned Beetle [ALB]) to CAES or the APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program.  Early detection, although difficult, is the best defense against further infestation.  Residents suspecting they have seen ALB or EAB should report their findings to CAES at (203) 974-8474 or CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov (digital photos of suspect insects and damage on the trees are very helpful).  Residents can also report sightings to APHIS-PPQ via their website at www.beetledetectives.com.  Additional information including interactive activities for youth may be found at Stop the Beetle.

More information including pictures of ALB and EAB may be found on the DEEP website at DEEP Forestry

{DOT road sign (Courtesy Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station)}
 
{EAB damage to Ash trees (Courtesy Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station)}
 
{EAB damage to Ash trees (Courtesy Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station)}