Solid Sound Festival with the Don’t Move Firewood team

Solid Weekend at Solid Sound

By Julia Sullivan


With Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival under our belts, Annalena and I felt like old pros by the time we rolled into MASS MoCA for a few hours of tabling last Friday. While we weren’t lucky enough to snag a spot inside the actual Solid Sound Festival, we set up in some prime territory right beside the entrance.  Needless to say, there was a lot of traffic. Hot, thirsty, sunburnt, and curious traffic. Lucky for these festivalgoers, we came fully prepared with hundreds of fans, water bottles, hats, and information. It was a wonderful weekend for stuff.

Friday evening, before the afternoon heat subsided and the festival entrance guards stood down, we found ourselves before a line of hundreds of anxious, sweltering people. Our freebies were in high demand, and we could hardly keep up. While I ripped through boxes of fans and answered the common “What’s this all about?” question, Annalena donned the Asian longhorned beetle costume, which made for some great entertainment for our captive audience. By the time we were ready to pack up for the day, we’d already made a considerable dent in our supplies and gotten the word out about invasive insects.


The following day was long but productive. Without hundreds of festivalgoers held helplessly before us, we broke out the prize wheel to entice people. We continued to give out fans but made people do a little work to earn water bottles, frisbees, beach balls, DVDs, hats, and tree shirts. We let people read up on the Asian longhorned beetle and/or the emerald ash borer, tested their knowledge with a couple quiz questions, and eventually let them spin to win. And as always, our stickers and tattoos were a hit. It was awesome to see people milling about with creepy invasive insects all over their arms.


We gave away the last of our supplies on Sunday morning. Solid Sound cleaned us out of a truck’s worth of stuff! What seemed a less than ideal location at first ended up working to our advantage, allowing us to interact with almost 700 people over the course of the weekend.


While this festival was different in many ways from Clearwater, the array of heartening responses from the people we interacted with felt just as good. Whether we heard “I remember you guys! I still have my frisbee from last year,” “Oh wow, good to know. I’ll get firewood where I camp,” or “Yeah, I know all about this. I don’t move firewood,” our work this weekend served to both raise awareness and enforce what some people already knew. We’re thankful for the awesome weather we’ve had at both of our events so far and looking forward to what the rest of the summer brings!

How to order your own bug tattoos

Here at Don't Move Firewood, we strive to supply any non-profit or local agency outreach professionals that come to us with supplies to aid in their own Don't Move Firewood outreach efforts. That includes things like our brochures, fake tattoos, stickers, water bottles, fans… you name it. So what's our most popular item?


Fake tattoos! And we are running out of them right now because of unprecedently high demand (which is a good thing), so I thought it would be a great time to tell the world how you can order your own supply. First, do some comparison shopping to find a reputable online custom fake tattoo dealer. Try this for a starting point for bulk fake tattoos, or this if you just want to print a small amount of them on your own special tattoo printer paper. We don't have a preferred vendor at this time, so you'll need to do your own research here.


Then, once you find one you think will work for you given your desired price point and quantity, browse our Don't Move Firewood Resource Library tattoo selection. Once you determine which one you want, you can either download the PDF directly from those links, or email me at and I can send you a PNG file of the requested type.


Easy! Good luck!

Firewood without bark in Missouri

Dear Don't Move Firewood,

I live in Missouri and I camp often. Is it ok to use lumber without bark?


Concerned Camper


Dear Concerned Camper,

What a deceptively complicated question- and a good one to ask. Lumber (I assume you mean cut firewood, not construction lumber here) without bark is indeed a bit less likely to contain bark dwelling insects, or insects that burrow between the bark and the heartwood (like emerald ash borer). But it is NOT safe 100%, and thus it often violates state or federal quarantines regardless of what part of the tree that an insect might prefer. Firewood without bark is not OK to transport from a practical, and often legal, perspective.


I found this nice brochure on the specifics of emerald ash borer in Missouri. From there, you can learn about one pest in Missouri- but there are others, like thousand cankers disease, that also spread on firewood (and in the heartwood, so de-barking doesn't help at all) and are also a big threat.


Verdict? Not a good idea. Please either keep firewood local, or buy it near your destination. Thanks for asking.


Summer 2013 Kickoff- Clearwater!

Don't Move Firewood Summer Interns start off at Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival!

By Annalena Barrett


Last weekend Julia and I (the brand new Community Outreach Interns for the Don’t Move Firewood Campaign) attended Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, an awesome environmental music festival. Neither of us had been to the festival before and had no idea what to expect. We set out Friday morning from Sheffield, Massachusetts and miraculously found our way there without a hitch despite our mutual ineptitude with directions. From there, the weekend was a total success. We were joined by two other Nature Conservancy employees based out of Albany and had a great time laughing at each other wearing the campaign’s Asian Longhorned Beetle costume.

It was exciting to see how many people really wanted to engage with us and learn about invasive species and forest health. It was also heartening to hear how much people already knew. Several Clearwater veterans came up to the booth to say they remembered the booth from a few years back and still had their beetle ID cards tucked into their wallets. Or that they love to camp, but have learned to buy their firewood where they want to burn it. Over two days of tabling we spoke with about 900 people and administered almost as many beetle themed temporary tattoos. Needless to say, we worked some long days, but hearing someone exclaim, “Wow I didn’t know that, I’ll definitely be more careful now!” or watching a kid jump up and down as they explained to a parent how invasive beetles spread made it incredibly fun and worthwhile. Often, these issues seem out of hand and unmanageable, but after a weekend of reaching out and talking to folks about simple ways to protect our trees, it seems more and more likely that we will actually be able to get a handle on the situation by implementing best practices.


This sense of hope and progress was compounded by the overall environment of Clearwater. We were just one of many groups tabling in the expansive “activist area” of the festival. In addition to this, Clearwater had a Green Living Expo set up and a zero waste policy. Everything from the plates to the forks to the straws we used were compostable and there was a person stationed at every waste disposal area to help people sort their trash correctly. For a festival attended by thousands, this kind of commitment to minimizing waste is commendable. I can’t help but lament a little that everywhere we set up a booth this summer will not be as conscientious and committed as Clearwater.       


At the end of the weekend, we had given away hundreds of fun freebees, learned that prize wheels make people of all ages excited, and deduced that there is no situation that is not greatly enhanced by fresh lemonade and a potato pancake.

Gathering firewood in Oregon?

Dear Don't Move Firewood,

I know we shouldn't take firewood with us when we travel to camp. Could you help provide resources to let us know rules and regs. to collecting firewood in different areas?




Dear Oregonian,

The answer is very dependent on where you are going. In Oregon, there is no overall state law or regulation on collecting firewood, but different land managers (like private land, state lands, national parks or national forest) all may set their own independent rules. The best thing to do is spend a little bit of time on the internet, searching for where you are going and what the local rules might be. For instance, I poked around on the Forest Service National Forest listing for Oregon, and found that (as one example) on the Umpqua they have a nicely organized firewood page. Most sites will have information on firewood in either a camping page, or a permits page, in my experience.


In your neighboring states, i.e. see external links for Washington, Idaho, and California, the regulations will differ but the concept is the same. I'm sorry it isn't easier to list all the exact resources!