Today we are featuring a guest blog from John Ackerly, the president of the non-profit Alliance for Green Heat.
National Parks Need to Require Concessions to Sell Dry Firewood
Last summer I was camping with my three-year-old son in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Since I head up the Alliance for Green Heat, a non-profit dedicated to clean and responsible wood burning, I was very familiar with pests such as Emerald Ash Borer and we planned to buy our firewood at the campground. I noticed right away that the campground was full of wood smoke and soon found out why: the concession selling firewood only had wet wood.
I brought it home and measured it with a moisture meter and got readings of 30% - 40% moisture content. Firewood should be under 20% and kiln dried firewood is often closer to 10%.
I then wrote to the Park Superintendent, asking whether there were local or national regulations requiring concessions sell seasoned firewood in parks. I told her that it would be harder to convince campers to leave their wood at home if they don’t know whether dry wood will be available. I got a very nice reply expressing regret over my smoky experience but no answer about any regulations, which leads me to believe that there aren’t any.
Campgrounds are full of kids. Dense smoke doesn’t make for a fun camping experience, and is not healthy, especially for kids. If we want to encourage people to buy firewood at their campgrounds, the firewood sold should be a good quality product- not a wet and smoky one.
Alliance for Green Heat