To help slow the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, visitors must use ONLY USDA-certified firewood or firewood gathered in the Park. If purchased outside the park, it must have the USDA stamp. Certified firewood can be purchased in the Park.
Why can't I bring my own firewood into the park? The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a destructive invasive exotic beetle that feeds on ash trees. As of 2015, the EAB is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of ash trees throughout the Midwest and many eastern states. Foresters across the state are working to control the spread of this devastating insect through quarantines, bans, and public education. The EAB is often spread by the movement of infested firewood. The park's campgrounds and picnic areas are the most likely areas for EAB and other exotic pest introductions into Shenandoah National Park. Because of the seriousness of potential infestations, park managers implemented a firewood ban March 1, 2010.
What are the details of the ban? The ban requires that visitors use only USDA-certified firewood or gather down and dead wood in the Park.USDA-certified wood may be brought in or purchased at camp stores. USDA-certified wood has been heat treated so that insects and diseases are killed. As always, visitors are encouraged to use charcoal for their cooking fires.
Why are we placing so much emphasis on preventing the EAB's introduction?
The Firewood Ban will help slow the spread of EAB and help preserve an ecologically important tree species. This will give researchers more time to develop more effective control and treatment options. And, it will allow time for the park's forest to recover from the impacts of the Gypsy Moth and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.