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Traveling with Firewood and Invasive Species

Campfires are an integral part of the RVing lifestyle, and you can’t have a campfire without firewood. But before you go tossing a bundle of wood into your RV to haul along to your campsite, consider the implications of your actions and how you could be putting acres upon acres of forest at risk. Traveling with firewood poses the possibility of introducing invasive species and non-native pathogens into new areas, devastating the land, and by extension, the animals that call it home. Fulfill your obligation to protect and preserve nature by transporting firewood responsibly.

Rules and Regulations

State and county firewood regulations vary by location, so you should do your research before hitting the road. Some states don’t allow you to bring firewood across their borders, and counties also have restrictions on bringing wood in from outside of the area. Michigan, among other states, has several quarantine areas, so learn the rules before traveling and try to avoid transporting firewood whenever possible.

Buy It Where You Burn It

When you transport firewood, you could be spreading diseases and introducing invasive species that could potentially kill millions of trees. To ensure that you don’t contribute to the devastation of wildlife and plant life, abide by the rule of buying your firewood where you burn it. By buying locally, meaning at the closest source, you can be certain that you aren’t introducing non-native species and pathogens into the area. Ideally, 10 miles away or less is best, and you should never transport wood more than 50 miles from where it was harvested. Firewood Scout is a great resources for finding firewood on the go.

Invasive Species

Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and the European Gypsy Moth are just a few of the common devastating pests that can be unknowingly carried when you transport firewood. Beech Bark Disease, Chestnut Blight, and European Larch Canker are just a few of the common deadly pathogens. Even if your wood is kiln-dried or looks free of pests, that doesn’t mean it is safe or that larvae isn’t present. By introducing these non-native species into areas that aren’t accustomed to having them, trees have no natural defenses against them and predators have no capacity for keeping their numbers in check. As a result, the pests or pathogens spread easily, destroying everything from dense forests to backyard trees.

When it comes to traveling with firewood, avoid it. Besides, who wants to weigh down their rig with firewood when you can easily acquire it where you intend to burn it? If you must transport firewood, know the laws before you move it and always abide by these regulations. When you travel responsibly by burning where you buy, you can know for certain that you are not perpetuating the spread of deadly pests and pathogens!

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