Firewood Quarantine Proposed by State, Public Input Sought

A proposed Rule Governing the Importation of Untreated Firewood into the State of Vermont has been filed with the Secretary of State. The purpose of the rule is to protect forest health by slowing the long-distance movement of wood-borne invasive forest pests, such as Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer, and preventing the spread of pests into Vermont. The enabling legislation requires the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation to adopt regulations on importing untreated firewood.

The proposed rule, as filed, is open for public comment until January 15, 2016. Two public hearings are scheduled:

  • Tuesday, January 5th at the Manchester Town Hall in Manchester Center
  • Thursday, January 7th at the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury.

Both hearings will begin at 4:00 PM.

The proposed rule prohibits the importation of untreated firewood into Vermont. The definition of firewood states that it is wood processed for burning and less than 48 inches in length, but does not include wood chips, pellets, pulpwood, or wood for manufacturing purposes. It allows treated firewood to enter the state if it is treated to the USDA standard of 160° F (71.1° C) for at least 75 minutes at a certified treatment facility and is accompanied by certification of treatment. By written request, the Commissioner of Forests, Parks & Recreation may waive this prohibition under conditions which ensure that the firewood poses minimal threat to forest health. Violations may result in confiscation of firewood and/or a civil citation. The rules are to take effect on May 1, 2016.

For more information on the quarantine and the scheduled hearings, visit: http://fpr.vermont.gov/fpr.vermont.gov/forest/forest_health/health_management/firewood_quarantine.  Questions or written comments can also be addressed to Barbara Schultz, Forest Health Program Manager at barbara.schultz@vermont.gov.
 

Media Contact Information:

Barbara Schultz, Forest Health Program Manager, VT Dept of Forests, Parks, and Recreation
Phone:  802-777-2082
Email:  barbara.schultz@vermont.gov