DEC marks beginning of fall camping, reminds campers to prevent spread of invasive species

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has marked the beginning of fall camping season by reminding New Yorkers and visitors to prevent the spread of damaging invasive species by following state firewood requirements when obtaining wood for campfires.

In recognition of October as National Firewood Awareness Month, DEC is releasing new PSA across the state to help raise awareness about firewood movement and its role in spreading invasive species.

“‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ and this is just as true for mitigating the damaging effects of invasive species as it is for staying healthy,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.

“One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of invasive forest pests is to obtain firewood within 50 miles of your destination.

“Whether you are setting out for a camping adventure or preparing to heat your house this winter, it is important to use firewood grown nearby to protect the places you love,” he added.

Many people take wood from their properties as they head out to camp, hunt, or enjoy the great outdoors, but most don’t realize their wood may be hiding the eggs, larvae, spores, adults, or even seeds of invasive threats.

Transporting infested firewood allows invasives to spread further and faster than these pests could or would have on their own.

In 2009, New York State enacted a regulation to prevent this accidental and often long-distance spread by limiting the transportation of firewood.

The regulation pertains to all species of wood, cut or not cut, split or not split, destined for use as fuel. Logs are subject to the regulation if their intended use is as firewood.

Untreated firewood may not be imported into New York from any other state or country.

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