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Buy Campfire Wood Where You Burn It

Buy Campfire Wood Where You Burn It

By Sarah Volkman, The Nature Conservancy

Taking a bundle of firewood from your backyard with you when you’re going camping might seem like a good idea. Who wants to worry about buying or finding firewood when you arrive at your campsite?

But think again. The real cost of moving firewood is a lot higher than you might suspect. Invasive tree killing pests — like the emerald ash borerAsian longhorned beetle, and goldspotted oak borer — are known to travel undetected in firewood. And when you move that firewood over long distances, you can accidentally give these pests a free ride to the very trees that you enjoy sitting beneath at your favorite camping spot.

On their own in your neighborhood or a forest, invasive insects don’t travel much farther than from one tree to the next. But in the back of your car or truck, they can make it hundreds of miles — and they won’t be shy about making themselves a meal out of the trees at your destination.

No one wants to be the one who started a new outbreak that destroyed a park or campground. And no one wants to see a city street or forest robbed of its beautiful green tree canopy. If that’s not enough to convince you, in some states and counties, moving firewood is illegal and subject to serious fines.

Protecting the places you love is simple. Instead of taking firewood from home, buy your firewood at or near your campsite. Buy it where you’ll burn it. And don’t take any extra firewood home with you.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when you’re gearing up for your camping trip:

  • Never assume that firewood is safe because it looks healthy. Some invasive insects are tiny and the eggs they lay are often microscopic.
  • When you buy firewood near your campsite, ask the seller where they got the wood. If it isn’t nearby, or if they don’t know where the wood is from, you should consider another firewood dealer.
  • Find out if your state has a safe firewood certification process. If it does, ask to see the seller’s certificate.
  • If you absolutely must take firewood with you, and you won’t be violating any regulations or laws, it is a good alternative to select packaged firewood with a kiln-dried stamp or heat certification.
  • For more information, funny videos, and interactive games about this issue, visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Sarah Volkman is a communications coordinator with The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Health Program.

(Image: campfire. Source: Flickr user Doug Beckers via a Creative Commons license.)

 

 

Related:
12 Ways To Have a Fun, Guilt-Free Camping Trip
Is Your Relationship with Trees on the Rocks?
Tips for Camping in National Parks

Read more: Environment, Green, Natural Pest Control, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Activities, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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30 comments

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6:25AM PDT on Mar 15, 2013

I don't go camping but it's always a pleasure to watch the neighbors sitting around their fire.
Thanks for this info.

1:35AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Does make plenty of sense!

1:35AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Does make plenty of sense!

1:43PM PST on Mar 2, 2013

Interesting. It would never have occurred to me to bring my own firewood as there are many other things to be put in the space inside the car. Certainly in Ontario we are cautioned about wood being infested by insects and how dangerous it can be to take it elsewhere in the province.

10:19AM PST on Dec 24, 2012

i haven't gone camping since i was a kid but it never occurred to me that someone would take their firewood with them. who has the room in the car with the camping gear and presumably other campers?

5:19PM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

Thanks.

6:02PM PDT on Sep 17, 2012

mega-important!!!! spread the word.....

1:31PM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

thanks

3:45PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

2:03AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

I hardly have gone camping or cooked out like this but once I recall we had a pitt and used wood there. I'd not want to take wood, never thought about doing that.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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