A new state law addressing imported firewood was passed by the 2011 Oregon Legislature and doesn’t go into effect for another 14 months, but it’s not too early for buyers and sellers to be aware that a good way to protect the state from invasive species is to only purchase local firewood.
It may not seem economical to bring firewood great distances into Oregon, but it happens. A couple of weeks ago, ODA received a call from an Oregon resident who had brought mesquite back with them after visiting New Mexico. California’s inspection stations at the border often detect unwanted plant material after it has traveled through Oregon.
Last year, a camper from Michigan had made their way through Oregon carrying firewood from their native state. California authorities detected emerald ash borer in that firewood. Thankfully, it appears the tree-killing insect has not established in Oregon.
States with invasive species problems like emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, or sudden oak death have plenty of dying trees that are cut for firewood and then moved. These trees die in the first place because of the insect or disease, which can then show up hundreds of miles from any local infestation as people take the wood with them or sell it far from the source.
For more, see: New Oregon Law Targets Imported Firewood