Buying Local Firewood

Buying Local Firewood

Buying Local Firewood. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

If you’re like me you love a fire in the fireplace on a cold fall or winter evening. Sure the natural gas fire is quick and convenient but it just doesn’t hold any of the charm and besides, who wants to roast marshmallows over a gas log? Well for those of you starting to lay in a stock of wood for the winter there is something you need to be aware of. Bad bugs and diseases can hitch a ride on imported firewood and threaten forests and agriculture.

HILBURN: You want to get your firewood from close by. The reason is, you don't want to be bringing in firewood from outside the Northwest because there are different pest problems out there that we don't have and firewood is an excellent vector for beetles in particular, but also diseases.
Dan Hilburn of the Oregon Department of Agriculture is also a member of the Oregon Invasive Species Council. He says the threat of imported firewood caught the state legislature's attention this past session.

HILBURN: The legislature passed a bill giving the department the authority to regulate firewood from outside the Pacific Northwest and to require firewood coming from outside to be heat treated.
That law also requires proper labeling of firewood so that consumers know the source and whether it has been heat treated to kill bugs and diseases. It doesn't kick in until 2013, but Oregonians don't have to wait to help protect the state's environment. Simply buy local firewood this fall and winter. Hilburn says people transport firewood much farther than you would think. Firewood from other states and Canada has been found in Oregon before.

HILBURN: Even though you would think it's not economical to bring your firewood very far away, just because we are a very mobile society and there are trucks and people camping and moving all over the country, people do throw in some firewood and bring it with them great distances.

Hilburn says Oregonians should simply buy and burn firewood locally since firewood is a good vector for insect pests and diseases.

HILBURN: If you were to bring firewood from Southern California or Montana or someplace outside the Pacific Northwest, you could be bringing pests that we don't have now and we don't want, and they could be harmful to our forests.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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