RAY BROOK - Seven people were ticketed for transporting firewood more than 50 miles without certification of heat treatment at three checkpoints held by state Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Conservation Police in the Adirondacks on Friday.
"DEC and its partners continue to educate campers and others about the importance of the firewood transportation regulation and preventing the spread of invasive insects," said DEC Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann in a press release. "The level of compliance with the regulation indicates that the public is getting the message. We must make every effort to protect the forest preserve and private woodlands in the Adirondacks from invasive insects, including enforcement of the regulation for those who don't comply."
One of the invasive species of concern is the emerald ash borer, a beetle that has been found in the Hudson Valley, the Catskills and western New York. It is responsible for the destruction of more than 50 million ash trees in the United States since its discovery in Michigan in 2002. The main method of movement of EAB across the country has been through the transport of firewood to campgrounds. By transporting firewood, campers and homeowners can spread diseases and invasive insects that can quickly kill large numbers of trees.
Two checkpoints were located near Lake George; one on the northbound off-ramp of Exit 21 of the Northway and the other nearby on Route 9N under the Northway overpass.
Approximately 7,000 vehicles were screened through these checkpoints to determine if they were transporting firewood. Thirty-one vehicles with firewood were inspected resulting in six people receiving tickets for violations of firewood transportation regulation. Violations included transporting wood from out of state, transporting wood from a quarantine and transporting untreated firewood from more than 50 miles from its source.
In addition to being ticketed, the six people were provided information and educational material about the firewood transportation regulation and the dangers of spreading invasive insects. Their firewood was confiscated and bagged.
The third checkpoint was located in the southern Adirondacks, on state Route 30 near the boundary line of Hamilton and Fulton counties. Only one ticket for illegally transporting firewood from out of state and seven warnings were issued to people who were transporting firewood within 50 miles of the source but without a completed source certificate document.
The DEC recommends that people leave firewood at home and buy it locally if they are going to a campground or park. If people move firewood, they must have a receipt or label stating that the firewood's source and it must remain within 50 miles of that source.
For firewood not purchased, people must have a self-issued certificate of source, and it must be sourced within 50 miles of your destination.
Only firewood labeled as meeting New York's heat treatment standards to kill pests (kiln-dried) may be transported into the state and further than 50 miles from the firewood's source.
For more information on New York's firewood regulation, call 1-866-640-0652 or visit the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/28722.html. A map of quarantined counties can be view at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/42674.html.