March 9, 2012
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) is announcing a revision of their current campground firewood policy. To prevent and slow the spread of forest pests and diseases, the revised policy states that campers may use only firewood acquired from vendors approved by the National Lakeshore. Campers are urged to refrain from bringing firewood with them on their trip.
Movement of firewood from one area to another can rapidly spread destructive pests such as hemlock woolly adelgid, beech bark disease, Asian longhorn beetle, and oak wilt; just as it did the emerald ash borer. Many local firewood vendors, including the vendor selling firewood in the campgrounds themselves, are working with the National Lakeshore to provide visitors with reasonably priced, quality firewood that does not pose the risk of importing or spreading forest pests. Firewood sold by these approved vendors will be marked as approved for use in National Lakeshore campgrounds. This firewood has either been treated for pests and disease, or is of tree species that do not pose the risk of their importation or spread.
A list of approved vendors will be available at the National Lakeshore visitor center, campground offices, and on the park website at www.nps.gov/slbe. Superintendent Dusty Shultz explains, "Unfortunately, these pests are a significant threat to the health of the National Lakeshore's forests. The steps we are taking strike a balance between continuing the treasured visitor activity of gathering around a campfire and protecting the resources that people come to experience."