Oregon lawmakers are considering a ban on untreated firewood from out of state. Backers of the measure said Monday it would help prevent invasive species from devastating Northwest forests.
The emerald ash borer is a little green bug that’s chomped its way through millions of Midwest ash trees.
The Asian long-horned beetle is threatening forests in the Northeast.
Those are two of the potentially devastating invasive species that could hitch a ride on firewood brought into the state.
Lisa DeBruyckere is the Oregon Invasive Species Council Coordinator.
She says tree-hungry bugs can live for years inside firewood.
Lisa DeBruyckere: “And then you either bring it camping, so you take it to a different location, or you just keep it at your home. The chances of those live insects then crawling out of that wood…they can manifest themselves in live trees just about anywhere if they’re live in the wood that you’re carrying.”
Many Midwest states already prohibit transporting firewood across state lines. The Oregon measure would apply to untreated wood sold at stores or brought in by private citizens.