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Protect the Forest by Using Local Firewood for your Campfire

07.26.2011

Photo Credit: Ingrid0804

What are your plans this summer?  Do they include a beach bonfire?  Camping under the stars?  Before you light up the night with some great summer campfires, consider where you are getting your wood and how this could destroy the forest, not through a forest fire, but through the spread of invasive insects and diseases through firewood.

Last Friday, the state of Virginia announced that its forests are the latest victim of Thousand cankers disease, a fungus that has been infesting walnut trees in the eastern states.  In June, a quarantine for firewood movement was set in Ohio in order to contain the spread of the invasive Asian longhorned beetle.  In California, government officials are working in order to put a stop to the ever-growing infestation of the goldspotted oak borer, a pest which has been killing oak trees in Southern California.

Though the origin of these destructive pests and diseases in the United States may or may not be known, they have been able to spread mainly through the movement of firewood from place to place.  When trees die, the pests or diseases that are living inside them are not necessarily dead also.  When firewood is not properly regulated, these guys are getting a free ride to unaffected areas of the forest.  Trees not only provide beautiful scenery, but they keep our air and water clean, and they provide natural shade for many properties.  A lot of forests and private properties have been in ruins thanks to the spread of invasive species of bugs and sickness, and in order to prevent extremely lethal cases, we have to know where our firewood is coming from.

Read more about this issue and get more advice about how to help or prevent spreading invasive species through firewood movement at Don’t Move Firewood. Read more about the pest that is affecting San Diego County, the Goldspotted Oak Borer here.



Frankie Victoria

written by Frankie Victoria

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A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
-Greek Proverb