To make sure invasive insects are not spread on firewood, use firewood from local sources. In other words, buy it where you plan to burn it.
Washington forests are in jeopardy from the transportation of invasive insects and diseases in firewood. Invasive pests live in wood, and when you pack it up and transport it to your camping destination, you run the risk of invasive bugs crawling out and infesting trees nearby. Once certain invasive insects take hold, they may devastate forests and outdoor recreation sites.
Even a small insect, such as the emerald ash borer, can devastate Washington forests. Its impacts could jeopardize forest industries and favorite outdoor recreation sites. Instead of tall groves, imagine tree stumps. Small pests can make big impacts.
Who Can Help?
- Bird watchers
- Rock climbers
- Property owners
- Skiiers and snowboarders
- Mountain bikers
If you spend time doing any of these activities or even if you have a home with trees on your property, you should be concerned about the potential for invasive pests and the damage they may do to the places where you love to spend time.
For example, imagine the forest you love to hike in cut down because of an invasion of the emerald ash borer, or your favorite campsite closed due to an infestation. These are real scenarios that already have happened on the East Coast where some of these invasive species are well established.
What Can I Do?
You can save trees! Whether you love to camp, snowboard, ski, hike, hunt, rock climb, or mountain bike you should know what you can do to protect the places you love.
- How can you protect the trees that you love? It is simple–don’t move firewood.
- Spread the word–tell your friends, neighbors, and family about the dangers of moving firewood. If you know someone who is preparing for a camping trip or vacation in their recreational vehicle, remind them to purchase their firewood locally.
- Call ahead to your camping destination to find a local wood dealer.
- Never take firewood with you–always buy it near where you will burn it.
- Learn to identify and recognize the pests of concern. Check out the resources on this page to learn more.
- Burn all your firewood before leaving your campsite.
The council extends a thank you to everyone who has helped on this campaign. Special thanks go out to our partners: Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Invasive Species Council, Oregon Invasive Species Council, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Washington Forest Protection Association, and Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.