Approved firewood here is not approved firewood over there

Sub Title:

Dear Don't Move Firewood,

If we go camping in a National Park out of state and buy firewood from that National Park's campground store, that is supplied by an approved vendor, but we don't use the last 2 or 3 pieces of wood, is it ok to bring that extra firewood to one of our state parks over 400 miles away from the National Park where we bought it?

Thank you,
Concerned Camper


Dear Concerned Camper,

That's a really good question. There are two answers- the biology answer, and the park-perspective answer.

From the biology perspective, if you bought certified heat treated firewood at that park approved vendor, and you've been storing those last few 2 or 3 pieces in your car or RV (not on the ground or in an open air woodshed) then that wood is no more of a threat then when you originally bought it. So purely from a biological pest risk perspective, you could bring it to a state park 400 miles away. Now, if it was just local (untreated) wood that you bought at the park approved vendor, the biological perspective is that you should not move it from the National Park back to your state park, far away, because 400 miles is not local anymore!


But wait! I'm not saying you should bring wood from park A to park B, 400 miles apart, under either situation!

That's because the park-perspective answer is different. Sadly, some campers try to cheat the system (presumably they feel strongly about not having to pay for firewood) so a few pieces of wood that- from the park staff perspective- you 'claim' was certified as heat treated and purchased from an approved vendor 400 miles ago- that's not something a state park is going to be able to honor. Quite frankly even though YOU would be honest, they have no way to know that, so it becomes a very difficult issue for them. And all of this would depend on the firewood being stored in your vehicle, too- storing it outside in a pile for even just a day or two would potentially allow pests to colonize the wood. Furthermore, you are crossing a state boundary in this hypothetical situation, which often means that you are violating an interstate firewood movement regulation.


So the answer is no, it is not OK to move firewood in this scenario. 400 miles is too far, and it certainly isn't worth the risk of having the wood confiscated- or receiving a fine- in this case.

I hope that makes sense! Thanks for inquiring.