Private Campgrounds vs National Parks?

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

My family and I are coming up in June to camp at the Jellystone Park in Gattlinburg TN and I was told by the campground I could not bring firewood. I live in Gwinnett county GA and I did not see it on the restriction list, I only saw Dekalb and Fulton county on the list for GA. I was wanting to know if I could bring my own firewood, it is oak wood. (edited for length)

Thanks, Camper from Georgia

Dear Camper,

Whenever you are visiting a privately owned campground, it is important to remember that they can set their own firewood rules- including stating that you cannot bring any firewood onto their property. I looked up that particular Jellystone park, and it indeed on private land, which means their management can regulate the movement of firewood onto their land in any way they see fit. Even though it is not illegal according to state law nor national park regulation (Great Smoky Mountains Firewood Alert) to bring oak firewood from that county in Georgia into the region near this campground, the Jellystone staff are within their rights to prohibit it as a private business. Now, if you were camping in the National Park itself, it would be considered legal to bring oak firewood from Gwinnett- but that brings us to the next point…

You would be moving this firewood really far- probably well over 150 miles, and that’s a lot farther than what is generally acceptable. It might not be against the law, but it isn’t a good idea. So please, leave that firewood at home, and buy some when you arrive at or near your destination.

Thanks for asking, and enjoy your trip in June!


Curious about the states mentioned in this blog? Visit our Georgia or Tennessee pages! Or head on over the National Park Service’s Great Smoky Mountains Firewood Alert page.