Public comment period: Proposed updates to New Hampshire’s firewood quarantine
Moving firewood can introduce invasive insects and pathogens that threaten New Hampshire’s forests. Firewood is particularly problematic because many people move firewood; it can be moved long distances, it is used incrementally, and it is often allowed to age on site, providing a long period of time over which pests can emerge. Emerald ash borer was likely introduced to New Hampshire from infested firewood moved into the state. Other pests moved in firewood also threaten our forests, including Asian longhorned beetle, brown spruce longhorn beetle, Sirex woodwasp, spotted lanternfly, and others.
The State of New Hampshire enacted an exterior firewood quarantine in 2011. Vermont, Maine, and New York also have similar bans on firewood originating from out-of-state. Updates are proposed to New Hampshire’s quarantine in response to changing insect populations within New Hampshire and the region, changing pest regulations across the region, and improved information about the efficacy of firewood heat-treatment standards.
The exterior firewood quarantine regulates firewood originating from outside of New Hampshire and moved into the state. There are also federal rules that regulate movement of firewood into New Hampshire. Firewood movement within the state is regulated under the separate emerald ash borer quarantine, not currently in revision. Proposed updates to New Hampshire’s firewood quarantine include: a more specific definition of firewood, lowering the certified heat treatment standards used to exempt firewood from the regulation, and changes to the eligibility for firewood compliance agreements to allow importation of out-of-state firewood into New Hampshire.
The public comment period to update the New Hampshire exterior firewood quarantine will run until June 15, 2018. A copy of the proposed quarantine can be found here. Comments on changes may be uploaded to NHBugs.org, submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to ATTN: Piera Siegert, NH Dept. Agriculture, Markets & Food, 29 Hazen Dr., Concord, NH 03301.