Packing Firewood

Crackling flames and smoke...can't get that from a hotel room!
Crackling flames and smoke...can't get that from a hotel room!

Campfires are a big part of why many of us camp.  We have fireplaces on every campsite and as long as you’re not disturbing your neighbors and keep your fire small, you’re welcome to enjoy your fire as late into the night as you’d like…we assume of course that you’ll douse your fire with a bucket of water before you go to sleep.

This morning Sheila wrote : “was reading the e-mail again and noticed the firewood section.  We usually bring our own from home.  Is that allowed?”

This is a great question, and the short answer is no…unless you can show us that the firewood you are bringing into the park was grown (not sold) within a 50 mile radius of Searsport Maine.

Adult Emerald Ash Borer Beetle
Adult Emerald Ash Borer Beetle

The Emerald Ash Borer is one of the reasons for this restriction.  This tiny Asian beetle has KILLED 20 MILLION ASH trees throughout the mid-west and Canada.  The US Forestry Department says that the Emerald Ash Borer is within a half a days drive of Maine already.

In addition to being beautiful trees, the ash are very important to the Native American Basketmaking tradition.  It is impossible to overstate the importance of the ash in Maine and all of the Northern regions…Master Basket Maker Jeremy Frey said it best:  “Structurally the Ash is unique for weaving.  No other materials has the properties of Ash, and it cannot be replaced.  Spiritually the Ash is just as important.  If we lose the Ash trees and I make my baskets from some other material, I lose part of my heritage.”

Asian Longhorn Beetle
Asian Longhorn Beetle

The other threat comes from the Asian Long Horn Beetle.  According to the latest research I found, this beetle has infested woodlands in Worcester Massachusetts and could easily make its way up the coast.  This beetle, if or when it gets to Maine has the potential to cripple the maple syrup industry (all small farmers in our world) and wipe out vast swaths of our hardwood forests.

So please leave your wood at home and don’t buy it from the side of the road.  We sell bundles of firewood that are harvested on a sustainable farm right here in Searsport.  These wood bundles help to support a family of 7 children and everyone is involved in the production.  Gayle and her family not only provide us with firewood but also with fresh eggs, strawberries and blueberries…it’s a small way to do your part to preserve our eco-system.

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