As July 4th approaches, state officials say 'Don’t Move Firewood!'
As we move into the height of the camping, vacationing, and barbequing season, The State of Vermont is urging residents to use local firewood. For the sake of forest health, wood should not be moved more than fifty miles from its point of origin.
"Firewood can harbor harmful diseases or pests, which could spread when it is relocated,” according to State Survey Coordinator Emilie Inoue, with the Agency of Agriculture.
Tree-killing insects and diseases can be devastating not only to forest health and habitats, but also to the economy, destroying potential timber trees, degrading property values, and requiring costly recovery efforts.
“If you’re traveling to a campground or vacation home, plan to get your wood nearby,” recommends Michael Snyder, Commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation. In order to prevent the spread of invasive pests, Vermont State Parks only permit firewood that comes from within a fifty mile radius. “Our visitors appreciate Vermont’s forests and we’re glad they’ve been supportive of this effort to minimize spread of pests in firewood.”
“Pests and diseases can be invisible to the naked eye, so you might not notice any signs of infestation on your firewood,” says Inoue. “But that doesn’t mean they aren’t present. That is why it is so important not to move firewood, regardless of whether or not it looks OK.”
To increase awareness of the issue, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture is partnering with WCAX to produce a new Public Service Announcement. The PSA’s will air intermittently throughout the summer.
To learn more about the risks associated with moving firewood long distances, visit the VT Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation’s website http://www.anr.state.vt.us/fpr/firewood/index.cfm
Additional information is available on the national “Don’t Move Firewood” website, http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/.
About the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets
VAAFM facilitates, supports and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture in Vermont while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment. Visit www.VermontAgriculture.com
About Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation
The Mission of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is to practice and encourage high quality stewardship of Vermont’s environment by:
· monitoring and maintaining the health, integrity and diversity of important species, natural communities, and ecological processes;
· managing forests for sustainable use;
· providing and promoting opportunities for compatible outdoor recreation; and
· furnishing related information, education, and service.