Movement of Domestic Wood Packaging within the U.S. – A USDA Report

203dd1d31afc9722a241f7588a97a4f4USDA APHIS has released their investigative report, “Risk Assessment for the Movement of Domestic Wood Packaging Material within the United States”.  This report is the result of several years of concerns regarding the movement of invasive pests from one region of the country to another that previously had no infestation.

While recognizing that movement of regulated and quarantined pests (Emerald Ash Borer) can occur in certain wood materials such as firewood, the report does not recommend a domestic U.S. program for wood packaging materials at this time, suggesting that “future research may resolve some of the uncertainties associated with specific risks posed by movement of domestic wood packaging materials.”  Citing the report further:

We do not know whether d(domestic)WPM has ever been directly implicated in the dispersal and establishment of a domestic pest. However, we have demonstrated that dWPM material provides a suitable habitat for many pests and that pests are known to move in WPM.  Despite its potential to transport pests, dWPM does not easily lend itself to regulation because there is a large volume, the wood packaging industry is fragmented, and dWPM is used in almost every aspect of commerce. Also, without direct evidence of the types and quantities of pests associated with dWPM, there is currently no way to develop a targeted regulatory scheme. Additionally, dWPM is difficult to permanently track and it may become reinfested after treatment. These problems present challenges to developing an effective regulatory strategy.”

To view/download the complete report, click on the link below:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/downloads/RiskAssessment-WPM.pdf