Firewood into California... rejected at the border coming home

Discussion in 'Upcoming/Recurring BBQ Competitions (KCBS or Other' started by bbally, Mar 1, 2010.

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  1. luvdatritip

    luvdatritip Smoke Blower

    I believe that would be Interstate 40.
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Living 10 miles from the Canadian border for 46 years, we'd heard and seen such scenarios many many times..I'd witnessed it personally crossing the border to and fro several times (used to go to a chiropractor in Cornwall across from Ogdensburg a couple times a week for a year or so). The border crossing guards on either side would pull you over and literally strip your car if you so much as joked having a gun under the seat or if you'd smoked a joint 10 miles earlier down the road and they could smell it. And, they had no obligation whatsoever to put it back; they threw everything in your back seat and trunk and you had to drive away like that, your expense to reconstruct your vehicle if they didn't find anything; it was impounded if they did.
    A customer of mine would buy all the AM pocket radios I could get my hands on from my store; he said he made 'metal detectors' out of them. However, he later told me what he actually did with them. The way he explained it was that everything had a frequency of some kind. Once he found what frequency it was, he could triangulate on it and locate that item or person even in a 5 mile radius. He could send his wife out to hide from him and locate her within 10 feet. He also used it to discover hidden objects if he knew the frequency. Marijuana had a specific frequency and he would go to the border crossing and sit in the guard house and could point to which cars had hidden stash. They would pull them over (this was at Mexican crossings, not Canadian, once I was here in Texas) and 'dust' their vehicles (their term, aka tear them down into dust) and his accuracy rate was 98%. This was in the 90's.
    I'd gathered another batch of radios for him as late as 2002 (about 30 or more). I'd called and left him messages for him to pick them up which he'd usually come in the next day or so, but didn't hear from him. Two weeks later another customer who I knew came in to pick them up for him, he was a Federal agent, said he wouldn't need any more and never saw him or the Fed again. Guess the government swallowed up him and his invention, right after 911.
  3. biggeorge50

    biggeorge50 Fire Starter

    In New York State, uncertified wood can't be transported more than 50 miles (in a straight line) from where it was cut. You can drive it around for three days if you want, just don't cross that 50 mile radius line.
  4. Way to go, make them do the paper work!
  5. hdsmoke

    hdsmoke Smoking Fanatic

    Yes, half of Ohio is under the Emerald Ash Borer quarantine...and my county was just added to the list for 2010. They still have not found any borers but all surrounding couties have. They had traps up in and around ash trees all year last year. So, since the majority of people wouldnt know ash from pine they restrict ALL firewood within the quarantine area. Funny thing is, i went camping last year (I was NOT in the q-tine area at the time) and brought firewood to the campground (which WAS in the q-tine area). So, i get there check in start unloading the pickup and some guy comes over to tell me i cant bring my wood into the campground that i need to BUY their wood. Um, no...try to explain that the wood was harvested in a county NOT in the quarantine area so i could take it anywhere i please and that it didnt really matter anyway as they ARE in the quarantine they cant take wood out of their county to mine...not vice versa. This went on for a good 5 minutes...finally im like, ok...I'll buy a bundle of your wood but i am still unloading mine and burning it. Yeah, he just wanted to sell me a bundle of wood at $7! Now, im sure the majority of people have no idea about any of that whole quarantine thing...but i did. Let alone the fact that the wood was all dead elm and junk maple!
  6. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    invasive species are no joke! I loved BBally's story, it is frustrating, and if Gov. is anything it is in-efficient. Hell I got a ticket for having the driver and passenger windows tinted, on a car I bought used, the kicker (I was at the highway patrol and they inspected the car for another issue, I was at DMV 3 times and their agents inspected the car each time), none said a word about the tinted windows. It pisses you off.

    But we all have read about different kinds of walking catfish, and many other invasive species of fish ruining habitat and killing fisheries. The same is happening with plants and trees. Give the guy credit he was at least trying to do his job,
  7. hdsmoke

    hdsmoke Smoking Fanatic

    This is very true...the midwest is going to lose the vast majority of its Ash Trees. Which really is a tradgedy...just like the American Elm (Dutch Elm Disease)...and American Chestnut (chestnut blight). Its too bad these things happen. We lose a lot of valuable wildlife habitat and beautiful trees.
  8. mgwerks

    mgwerks Smoking Fanatic

    I understand about these diseases, as I am a frequent camper and we travel through many states on our trips. I had one guy tell me I couldn't transport mesquite because of that. Mesquite!

    As for the BS at the CA border, next time cover the wood or place it in other things. I wouldn't transport forbidden kinds, but when it comes to things which I know are innocuous I consider the game to be on.

    When it comes to the CA/US border, the above posters are right - do NOT joke with these guys. I had to bite my tongue a lot. Going into Canada, we were stopped by the very nice young man and questioned for no less than 15 minutes. During our shared time there at the booth, about 25% of the questions consisted of repeatedly asking about guns owned, what type, how many, did you have any with you - over and over again in between other things. I readily listed all the foods - processed and fresh - that we were importing, and he didn't care about them at all (including some I found out later were proscribed). He was very nice, but it got old after a while.

    I'm very familiar with that issue in cross-border travel, and have never been tempted to try and cheat it. It would never be worth it. Now, I am certain they don't process every man & wife in that manner, or the line would have been backed up across the bridge into Buffalo. I can only account for it happening because we were in a 4wd F350 Crewcab Diesel with full bumper treatments and Texas plates. I told him I didn't have any horses or oil wells either.

    Coming back, the US agent was a complete a$$. We didn't have to unload; didn't even have to show our certified copies of birth certificates or anything. He just had a crappy attitude and seemed to derive pleasure out of holding us up.

    Sorry about the rant.
  9. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good old Government wasting our money once again...will it ever end?
    You know, one day I have high hopes that America will get back on track like we were back in the 50s.
  10. what is the charge for, I have never paid a charge for taking a trailer into the US???

  11. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    But what if your Q wood is storebought and still in the original wrapper? A close friend just recently returned from his winter trips through the south including a right turn in california and heading north and was carrying some PECAN logs in store packages. Oh, Oh, I might know a smuggler[​IMG].

    To our Diesel F350 driving cousin from Texas, did the US Agent have you shut off your engine? I live in a community 20 miles south of the border and have a Diesel shop in Canada work on my truck. Never a problem, show the passport, no rolling of the coal and shut off baby so they can think. Heck, they're human too. When you have frequent 1/2 hour to 1 hour backups at the crossings on the weekends, even one of us might be a tad short on the attitude. Yessir, Nosir, and thank you sir. Works for me.
  12. At this point I'd settle for the 60s again or the 70s for that matter![​IMG]
  13. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    In that same vein-common sense(normal people, normal world) does not enter into this equation. Assume a 50% really stupid posture squared-and you will still be short when dealing with government types (30 plus years as a VA/Military/Veteran status)
  14. Havasu City on I-15??? Where it that? I-15 does not go to the California/Mexican border.
  15. timtimmay

    timtimmay Action Team

    Not international, just in and out of CA
  16. northern greenhorn

    northern greenhorn Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the land of the free...[​IMG]
  17. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Maine, the second most liberal state in the union after California, enforces the same rules. You can get around it if you can certify that the wood you are transporting has been heated to 160F for 90 minutes. Canada and Bermuda also have similar restrictions.
  18. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Funny, i live in minnesota and i knew about that issue and have never been there. it all has to do with bringing in species of insects and stuff that can cause damage to native forests. i am sure it was a inconvenience but in the long run it is for the best. up here if you camp at a state campground all firewood must be purchased and must come from within a  close proximity.

    here is a us map with states that have firewood transport regulations...
  19. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for that post.  It'll help me decide where to travel this summer as I drag the smoker along to make the neighbors envious. 
  20. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Unfortunately, I live in California.  I-15 is a long way from Havasu, but I think I know where this might have happened.  Also, I don't recall where I-15 and 95 meet?  They are both north/south roads.

    I am sure the concern here was that diseased wood could be taken to a campsite and contaminate a forest, not that there are many forests in that part of the world.

    My recollection of the history of this is that there was a dispute between California and Arizona over fruit.  California's response was to set up inspection stations and deny entry of fruit from Arizona into California.  They used to do the same thing at the Mexican border crossings.  I am sure the justification was disease prevention.  I am equally sure the real reason was ag competition between the two states, basically because of oranges.

    Meanwhile, they usually pass 90 percent of cars without even stopping them.  They couldn't just close the place and save the money.  Too many state union people employed there. 

    Don't you wish you lived in California so you could pay your taxes for nonsense like this?
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