C&O Canal Prohibits Bringing Firewood into the Park

C&O Canal Prohibits Bringing Firewood into the Park

Hagerstown, MD- The National Park Service is asking that visitors who use campgrounds or picnic areas in C&O Canal National Historical Park not bring firewood from outside the park. Firewood may contain non-native insects such as Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorned Beetle. Bringing firewood into the park from other areas may accidentally spread pest insects and diseases that threaten the health of our forest.
"We are asking our visitors to help us protect the park" Kevin Brandt, Superintendent of C&O Canal said. "These pests and diseases can cause great damage to trees in the park and on private lands nearby."
Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the immediate vicinity of designated picnic and camping areas, but may not be removed from the park. Some firewood cut by park staff from inside the park may be available at campsites. Check with the campground host or a park ranger.
Management of trees infected with these pests involves drastic measures - complete removal of all trees (infested and otherwise) in the immediate and surrounding areas. Both beetles can be easily spread in firewood, which may look normal, but still be infested with the immature stage of these insects. The ash borer primarily infects species of ash trees. The longhorned beetle attacks maple, elm, horsechestnut, and other hardwoods. There are specific quarantines that restrict the removal of wood products from Prince George's County Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and parts of New York and New Jersey. The firewood ban reflects measures taken by the State of Maryland (May 2007) in their parks and forests and at Catoctin Mountain Park, a National Park Service site.
For additional information on this program, contact Brian Carlstrom, Chief, Resource Management Division at (301)714-2210.