PORTLAND, Maine - Visitors to Maine over the next couple of days could see some Maine Forest Service rangers at key locations. The rangers will be on the lookout for firewood visitors might attempt to bring in to the state because it could carry some destructive invasive insects.
For several years, the Forest Service switched out visitors' imported firewood for homegrown wood, and embarked on an education campaign about the dangers posed by invasive insects. This year, rangers will simply take the illegal firewood and dispose of it properly.
In most cases, says Regional Ranger Jeff Currier, there will be no other sanctions. "We anticipate that most of these will be simple confiscations of their illegally imported wood, that we'll make sure they now understand the law," he says, "and probably in most cases, I would assume, get away with a written warning,"
Currier says insects of special concern are the emerald ash borer and the Asian longhorn beetle. So far, those pests have not been found in Maine.