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Governor Signs Bill Banning Firewood Imports
04/02/2010 11:32 AM ET  

The measure is aimed at stemming the spread of two highly destructive invasive pests that originated in Asia.

A measure that would ban people from bringing firewood from other states into Maine was signed into law yesterday by Gov. John Baldacci.

The measure is intended to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle, two invasive pests that have damaged forests in other states.

The larvae of the emerald ash borer damages ash trees when they feed on the inner bark. The bug probably arrived in the U.S. on wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating in Asia. It's been found in New York, Pennsylvania and Quebec, as well as other states and Canadian provinces.

The larvae of the Asian longhorned beetle bore holes in a variety hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, poplar, horse chestnut and willow, eventually killing the tree. The pest has turned up close to Maine, in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The bill makes an exception for firewood that's packaged and clearly labeled as "kiln dried" or certified by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The term "firewood" doesn't include wood chips, wood pellets, fuel for biomass boilers, pulpwood or other wood sold or transported for manufacturing.



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