Monday, February 22, 2010

Buy and burn firewood locally

Tri-state campaign to prevent the spread of invasive species

Buy and burn firewood locally

Boise, ID—Three states in the Pacific Northwest are teaming up to spread the word about the dangers of transporting firewood. The campaign has been made possible with grant funding from the 2010 Farm Bill. The Idaho Invasive Species Council (IISC) will work with the Oregon Invasive Species Council and the Washington Invasive Species Council to launch an outreach and education campaign to inform the public about insect and fungal invasive species and diseases that can be spread by moving firewood.

“Prevention is key to the success of invasive species programs,” said IISC Chair Celia Gould, director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. “We will be working with the other Pacific Northwest states to encourage people to buy and burn their wood locally. We are striving to prevent the introduction of invasive species like emerald ash borer to the region. These invasive species have decimated forests in the eastern United States and threaten millions of forested acres in Idaho and the West.”

The tri-state campaign is funded through a 2010 Farm Bill grant, and plans to include billboards and radio spots, firewood exchange programs, and a pilot project that includes free firewood in designated campgrounds.
People move firewood to camp sites and homes without recognizing the threat it poses as a pathway for the unintentional spread of invasive species. It is well established that firewood is an important pathway for the spread of these forest pests in the United States. A national Web site, provides excellent information on not moving firewood.

“We are working to prevent the spread of these species to the West. When people plan their next trip, we hope that they will leave their firewood behind. We want people to buy and burn local,” said Gould. “These species do not respect state lines, and working regionally can make a difference.”

For questions or further information, please contact Amy Ferriter at 208-332-8686 or