New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently adopted a ban on transportation of firewood over distances greater than 50 miles. There are some invasive species of insects that are very destructive to certain types of trees, and they are trying to limit the spread of these bugs. To support this ban, they are requiring a "Self-Issued Certificate for Transportation and Possesion of New York-sourced Untreated Firewood for Personal Use."
There are other regulations affecting firewood suppliers and bulk transporters, but this one is the one we campers need to know about.
First, there is an interesting and informative discussion of this topic over on the Fish Creek Ponds website forum: Fish Creek Ponds forum
Next, here is the NYS DEC info including links to a detailed FAQ and the required certificate: DEC Website
Initially, DEC was going to concentrate on educational means to spread the word and get the program going. We recently learned that some DEC campgrounds are checking for the required certificate and if not furnished, they are confiscating your firewood. Others are beginning to check for the certificates, but only informing about the potential for confiscation. Another source tells us that DEC will uniformly confiscate any non-certified firewood in 2009.
For those of you who are already aware of this and just need the blank forms for the transportation certificates: Self-Issued Certificate of Source (100 kb pdf)
I downloaded the .pdf and have printed up several blanks to keep in the trailer.
Please understand that in New York State, this regulation can be enforced by any: DEC employee, NYS Parks employee, DEC police, NYS Police, and any other law enforcement officer. Realistically, I would expect that regular law enforcement won't get too involved with this except perhaps inside parks like the Adirondacks and Catskills.
Also, this rule is state-wide in scope and not limited to state operated campgrounds or parks. It can be enforced anywhere within the state.
I have no personal knowledge of what other states are doing in regard to this problem, but it would not surprise me if some of them have adopted similar rules. If any of you know anything about this for other states, please chime in here as we all need to be informed about this situation.