Enjoy Ohio State Parks, Don’t Move Firewood
Ohio is home to some of the best state parks in the country, with a wide variety of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy during the summer months. One of the best parts is that Ohio is only one of seven states in the nation that has free admission to our 74 state parks. While we encourage folks to go out and take advantage of all these exciting opportunities, we would remind everyone of an important message: Don’t move firewood.
This is not to say anyone camping in the park should not use firewood. Rather, ODA would encourage everyone to not move firewood from your home or backyard to your campsite or vice versa. Firewood can contain a variety of forest pests, and human-assisted spread is one of the fastest ways for these pests to move long distances throughout both the state and the country. Invasive pests that are present in Ohio such as the Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer and the gypsy moth can all hitchhike on firewood and wreak havoc on our beautiful woodlands.
Our friends at Don’t Move Firewood offer 3 easy steps for people to take to work to prevent the movement of forest pests through firewood:
1) Buy firewood at or near the campsite
2) Gather firewood on site when permitted
3) Buy certified heat treated firewood with a seal of compliance
Preventing unnecessary firewood movement is one of the most important actions citizens can take to stop the spread of unwanted pests. One of Ohio’s state parks where this is especially evident is East Fork State Park in Clermont County. East Fork has more than 4,800 acres of land, offering plentiful recreational opportunities.
Due to a nearby infestation of the Asian longhorned beetle in Clermont County, East Fork State Park has a no-firewood-out policy in place. Officials from ODA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture work with folks to make sure firewood does not leave the park, with an aim to keep the invasive beetle out and ensure everyone can enjoy all the fun East Fork has to offer .
So as you go out and take advantage of our magnificent state parks this year, remember your important role to play in not moving firewood to keep out unwelcome pests and maintain our state’s natural beauty.