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MDARD proposes Exterior Firewood Quarantine to protect Michigan trees and forests from invasive species
October 14, 2021
Public comment on the proposal due by November 19, 2021
For immediate release: October 14, 2021
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is proposing an Exterior Firewood Quarantine to prevent the introduction of unwanted plant pests and diseases into Michigan. Public comments on the proposal are due by Friday, November 19, 2021.
Over 140 pests and diseases can be moved by firewood, including Asian long-horned beetle, mountain pine beetle and spotted lanternfly. These pests are not known to exist in Michigan but could be accidently brought into the state by travelers transporting firewood.
“Harmful invasive species, some of which are invisible to the naked eye, can hide in or on firewood. While most cannot move too far on their own, these pests and diseases can be transported undetected on traveler’s firewood, starting new infestations in locations hundreds of miles away,” said Mike Philip, MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division Director. “These infestations can be devastating and pose a serious threat to Michigan’s agriculture, natural resources and the environment.”
It is difficult to eradicate a pest or disease once established, and management practices such as tree removal and reoccurring pesticide application can causes significant economic hardship for municipalities, counties, industry, and homeowners.
Under the proposed exterior firewood quarantine:
- All firewood shipped into Michigan would have to be certified as heat treated at a temperature of 140 degrees F. (60 degrees C.) for at least 60 minutes.
- Kiln-dried lumber and wood chips smaller than one inch would be exempt.
- Logs or wood shipped from out of state sources directly to mills and other facilities for immediate processing would also be exempt.
- Mills that sell or distribute slab wood as a byproduct of the operation where the wood came from out of state sources could do so under a compliance agreement with MDARD.
Members of the public interested in providing feedback on this proposed quarantine can submit their comments to Mike Bryan, MDARD Export and Compliance Specialist by emailing BryanM@Michigan.gov. The deadline for comments is Friday, November 19, 2021. Additional information is available at Michigan.gov/Invasives and on MDARD’s plant pest quarantine webpage.