Filed under: Family Camping, Nature & Wildlife, Preparation & Readiness, State & National Parks
Transporting Firewood, Not Worth the Price Our Forests Pay
How many times have I taken my firewood with me on camping trips? Sometimes I would save the unused to burn at home or take on the next trip. So many through the years, I feel terrible about it now. I recently learned that my old habit of stocking up on cheap fire wood and taking it with me on my camping trips is an extremely bad habit!
I love the great outdoors, I cherish our National Forests. I am a true “Tree Hugger” at heart. Yet, I was clueless to the damage I could be causing by transporting firewood from one area to another.
The transporting of firewood has become a major concern for our forest in the last few years. So much so, that many places have started implementing quarantines and tough restrictions on importation of wood, including firewood. The United States now has very strict regulations about all hardwood coming from Canada. And Canada has recently expanded their import regulations on firewood to include the United States. Even transporting firewood from one part of a state or province to another can pose a serious threat to our precious forests. Many of our National and State Parks have regulations now that firewood must be purchased after arrival at the park you are visiting.
The problem is insects, bacteria and fungus. When an insect that has the potential to destroy a tree is transported to a new location where there is no natural predator to keep its numbers at bay, the insect population can explode and do an unbelievable amount of damage. The infestation can spread and destroy before anyone even knows it has arrived in the area.
Firewood (and all wood) can be heat treated to ensure that no nasty little pest are hitching a ride. Many places, including the U.S. / Canada border now require that all wood crossing be accompanied by a certificate showing the wood has been through this process and given a clean bill of health.
So, that free firewood just down the way from your home is great for home, but don’t take it on the road. Those pesky little hitchhikers can do a lot of damage to our beautiful forests!
Always observe basic fire safety rules and have a great time!