Firewood

Invasive insects present a large threat to Canadian forests. Through the economic report conducted by the Invasive Species Centre, in 2018, it is estimated that invasive insect cost $X annually for municipalities and conservation authorities. 

The movement of firewood plays a large role in the distribution of invasive insects.  Firewood and its bark can harbour eggs and larvae that can go undetected by the average person.  These eggs and larave are then transported to another location where they can develop and begin to impact their new local ecosystems.

For example, the emerald ash borer is not a prolific flier and rarely flies outside of a 15km radius. However, the emerald ash borer as rapidly spread across southern Ontario and is heading both west and east, now as far as Edmundston, New Brunswick. The Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA) is tasked with the responsibility to regulate areas that an invasive insect is preset in. A list of regulated pests can be found at the CFIA’s List of Pests Regulated by Canada. Moving freshly cut log trees can also contribute to the spread of invasive insects. However, commercial foresters work very closely with the CFIA to ensure that safe movement practices are being implemented. 

It is extremely important that you do not transport these invasive insects outside out their regulated area. The CFIA provides insight on when you can and cannot move firewood.  

Continue reading below for some helpful tips:

Burn it where you buy it

Burning firewood within the location where you purchased the firewood is one of the most  sure ways to avoid spreading any invasive insects. The rule of thumb is to avoid travelling more than 15km outside of the area where you are planning to burn the firewood. Make it a common practice to pick-up firewood after you have reached your destination 

Buy the proper wood

If the opportunity is available, choose to buy certified heat-treated (kiln-dried) firewood. This wood has been treated and avoids the risk of spreading invasive species.

Educate yourself

The ISC and partners are working to prevent the spread of invasive species, but they are moving more rapidly. Due to this, regulations are constantly changing. It is important that you educate yourself on the laws of transporting firewood in your area and the rules of the campground/area. Below are some helpful resources:

CFIA – Don’t Move Firewood

CFIA – Regulated Pests (Distribution Maps)

DontMoveFirewood.org

Top Invaders

Boating

Recreational boating has been a large contributor to the spread of aquatic invasive species. The spread of invasive species occurs when a boat is removed from a body of water, without proper cleaning, and then the boat is launched into another body of water. Invasive mussels and invasive aquatic plants can attached to boat vessels and stay unnoticed.

The clean.drain.dry initiative educates boaters on the importance of properly cleaning a vessel, draining out excess water, and continuing to let the boat dry. In some areas, such as Alberta, it is against the law to avoid properly cleaning your vessel before departing  to another location. Parks and other locations have taken it upon themselves to implement a clean, drain, dry policies by providing staff and the resources to assist boaters in cleaning their vessel.

Clean

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Drain

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Dry

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Top Invaders

Invasive fish and invertebrates - Zebra Mussel

Zebra and Quagga Mussels

Hydrilla

Eurasian Water Milfoil

European Frogbit

Water Chestnut 

Water Chestnut

European Frogbit

Hiking

Hiking and experiencing nature is one of the best activities we can do to increase our mental and physical health. It is suggested that Group walks in nature are associated with significantly lower depression, perceived stress, and negative affect, as well as enhanced positive affect and mental well-being. The ISC encourages the public to go out an enjoy the natural spaces that Canada has to offer. However, by not properly cleaning your equipment, you could be contributing to the spread of invasive species.

A hiker can spread invasive species as invasive plant seeds can attach to boots, gear, and other gear. This gear is then transported by vehicle to another location (new trials, within city limits) and introduced into a new environment. 

If you are planning a hike in the future or are a spontaneous adventurer, the Hikers Action Plan is a must read!

Equipment

Invasive species can spread to new areas when contaminated mud, gravel, water, soil and plant material are unknowingly moved by equipment used on different sites. This method of spread is called an unintentional introduction.

Global Trade

Ballast Water

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Globalization

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.