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Firewood FAQ

1. What is the firewood ban?
The ban on transporting firewood was created in several states and in Canada to limit or slow the spread of destructive insects and tree diseases, such as Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorned Beetle, Sirex Woodwasp, etc. The ban prohibits transportation of firewood of any kind into New York State (NYS) from any source unless it has been heat treated and certified as being clean of destructive insects.

2. I see log trucks traveling on 37, why can they move wood and I canít?
Many of the log trucks are transporting wood to be used in lumber or pulp.  These logs will not be staying in this form for very long once arriving at the mill.  They are headed for saw logs which will have the bark peeled off and destroyed, and this kills most pests in the wood.  Pulp will be chipped up, ground and turned to pulp for the paper manufacture.  This process will also kill any destructive pests in the wood.  What cannot be transported is any wood that is raw and may have insects in it, that might sit in one place for a while.  Sitting in one place means like a stack drying, or camp wood forgotten at a campsite.  Lumber or other wood is not applicable, this only covers wood that is potentially infected with destructive insects, and may not be used right away.  Insects like the EAB grow in a tree for a year before becoming adults.   Most police and border guards wonít be able to tell if wood is clean or not, or if the wood is of a potential carrier species (such as telling ash from maple).  The ban covers all firewood that has not been marked as safe from a certified treatment facility.

3. Does Canada have a ban?
Yes the Canadian Government has a ban in effect and has had one on the books for a number of years, much longer than NY. The Canadian ban does not permit any firewood to be transported into Canada from the US.

4. Can I transport any firewood?
Yes, but transportation is regulated by how far you can transport it and where you can transport it to. The ban does not permit transportation of firewood into NY without being certified as heat treated.  Within NYS firewood can be transported up to 50 miles from where it was cut. If you cut wood on a friendís lot and move it to your lot you can transport it up to 50 miles with a self signed certificate of source. Firewood that has been heat treated and certified as clean can be transported further than 50 miles.

5. How is the 50 mile limit determined?
The 50 mile limit for transporting self signed certificate firewood is made by a ruler or scale bar on a road map. The location on the certificate is measured to the location of the wood, if it is less than 50 miles it is permitted within the ban, if it is over 50 miles it is possible to be fined for transporting the firewood. 50 miles has been chosen as the limit because most firewood transported is less than 50 miles. Most home owners who heat with firewood rarely transport wood over 50 miles. After 50 miles the cost of transportation in fuel and time has often exceeded the value of the wood. You can buy wood closer to the destination.

6. How far can I transport wood within NY?
With a self signed certificate of source, firewood may be transported up to 50 miles. However, firewood cut within a quarantine zone may not be transported out of that zone.

7. What if I cut the wood on my own woodlot?
Firewood cut on private land that is meant to be used on that land is exempt from the firewood ban. You can cut all the wood you want on your land and as long as you do not transport it off of your land it is not applicable to the firewood ban.

8. What is the certificate of source?
A self signed certificate of source is a certificate that a person who wishes to transport wood may print and sign themselves. This certificate lists where the firewood had been cut. It is then used to determine how far the wood can be transported. If you are transporting firewood and you are stopped, having this certificate will show where the wood came from. It is fast to fill out, and only needs to be filed out and signed by the person transporting wood.

9. Where can I get a certificate?
The certificate can be found at the NY DEC website. You can print it from your home computer and fill it out yourself. The link to the certificate is: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/selfisscert.pdf

10. Does it apply to moving wood into/out of Canada?
The ban prohibits moving firewood into NYS from any location. Canada does not permit firewood to go into Canada from the US. Therefore the certificate has no application to Canada

11. Does the ban affect Akwesasne?
As this ban is a NY state regulation it does not affect Akwesasne directly. However Akwesasne is smaller than 50 miles in size, and any wood moved could not travel more than 50 miles while still being in Akwesasne. From speaking with representatives in NYS and Canada, it does not seem to matter what half the wood comes from as long as it stays within Akwesasne. Wood cut in Snye may go into St Regis and reversed, however it is only permitted as long as it stays in Akwesasne.

12. Can I move firewood from one half to the other?
As long as the firewood does not cross into NY State, and the wood remains in Akwesasne, then it can be transported. Firewood transported into Akwesasne is still applicable to the ban. Wood moved from NYS into Akwesasne must stay in Akwesasne and cannot cross into Canada, and reversed.

13. Can I transport wood over the bridge?
At this time you cannot move firewood over the 3 Nations Bridge.

14. What if I am just moving it to/from the Island?
At this time you cannot move firewood over the 3 Nations Bridge.

15. If I transport wood can I get in trouble for it?
Transporting firewood without a self signed certificate declaring where the wood came from can be reprimanded. Fines can be levied for moving firewood over 50 miles. Right now is an early stage where NYS is trying to educate people about the ban, but after your first warning you can be fined.

16. Can I move firewood in from another state, or to another state?
The Ban on firewood transportation does not permit firewood to be brought in from any place outside NYS, unless it has been heat treated by a facility that can certify it as being clean. If moved into another state it is applicable to that states regulations, some have bans, some do not.

17. Can I move it from one county to another?
Firewood can be transported from one county to another as long as there is no quarantine zone involved. Wood may be moved from St Lawrence County to Franklin county and reverse, but only as long as it does not exceed 50 miles.

18. What if a County is declared Quarantine?
If a county has been declared quarantine, then that county has been positively identified to have populations of destructive insects. At this time only Randolph, NY has a confirmed EAB population, that town is far enough away that it far exceeds the 50 mile range for transporting firewood. Firewood may not leave a quarantine zone, it may not travel through a quarantine zone, and it may be brought into a quarantine zone but may not leave.

19. Can I get in trouble for transporting firewood in/out of a Quarantine zone?
You can bring firewood into a quarantine zone if it is closer than 50 miles, but firewood cannot leave a quarantine zone. If you do transport firewood from a quarantine zone and the firewood you move had destructive insects on it, and they spread as a result of that firewood being moved, you can be held responsible for the destruction of infected trees.

20. Where can I find more information?
You can find more information about the firewood ban in NYS from the NY DEC website http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2359.html this site provides the regulation details and the certificate of source that can be printed.
Information about EAB can be found at http://www.emeraldashborer.info/index.cfm this website has up to date information about the EAB, including maps, links, research, and what is being done to fight the threat to Ash trees. The Tribes Environment Division can also be contacted for more information, and can provide answers to more specific questions.

This F.A.Q. will be updated when new information comes available.