Firewood Alert: Destructive Insects May Be Hitching A Ride!
The possession of firewood, whether hardwood or softwood, originating from a location for which a federal or state firewood quarantine is in effect is prohibited in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This closure prohibits the movement of firewood into the park from counties adjacent to the park for which a federal or state quarantine is in place, even if the quarantine allows for movement within the county. Failure to comply may result in a citation or seizure of firewood. Please see the list of quarantined states and counties.
Firewood which is in its original packaging stamped with a USDA - APHIS - PPQ shield stating that the wood is certified under one or more sections of federal regulation 7 CFR 301 is allowed. Also firewood which is purchased from a park concessionaire is allowed.
Destructive Insect Pests
Emerald ash borer has killed tens of millions of ash trees in North America since its discovery here in 2002. The insect is originally from Asia, but was accidentally introduced to North America. The adult beetles eat ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. More information about emerald ash borer is available from:
Asian longhorned beetle is native to Asia, but has been found in Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York recently. Most Asian longhorned beetle infested trees have been in landscape settings so far. These beetles lay eggs on trees and their young bore through trees as they grow. Infested trees must be cut, chipped, and burned to prevent spread. More information about Asian longhorned beetle is available from:
Thousand Cankers Disease poses a serious threat to black walnut trees in the national park. The disease is caused by a non-native fungus which is transmitted by small twig beetles. For information about the disease, including a quarantine map, please visit:
For additional information about other introduced insects and diseases that threaten the park's forests, please visit:
Firewood is available for sale at most large campgrounds in the park and in many stores in surrounding communities. However firewood may not be brought into the park unless it bears the USDA-APHIS-PPQ certification or is purchased from a county that has no quarantine in effect. In addition, park regulations allow for collection of dead, fallen wood for campfires.
Did You Know?
An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...