I live in Kentucky very close to the Indiana border. We are new to camping (got our A126 last Sept) and love to have a camp fire when camping.
The EAB (Emerald Ash Borer) has triggered a series of wood quarantines in my part of the country. This means the states are now regulating the transport of firewood across state lines and more specifically checking the source of firewood in the campground. The new requirements call for wood coming into the campground be either from within the state with all bark and 1/2" of the outer wood removed, purchased from a seller with a USDA APHIS approved label (certification of pest free wood by way of fumigation or heat treatment) or be purchased on site (within the campground). In Indiana they also have a state certification program for resellers of firewood - that wood has a state compliance stamp on the label (talked to a seller, basically they have to become certified and sell only wood that has been properly seasoned with a moisture content below 20%).
So - for those of us in these areas: How do you plan to cope with this? Firewood runs about $5.00 for a .75 cubic foot bundle, and by my personal standards for a 'good campfire' I would burn at least two of these a night. I like a fire a night for ambiance - caveman TV
That could mean an additional $20-$30 every weekend of camping
(if I'm conservative with my fire size)
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with ensuring that we don't spread pests that harm the resources. I just think should be alternatives. If a certified seller in Indiana can certify and only have to season their firewood for 1 year to meet the below 20% moisture content, why can't anyone bring wood that has had 1 year of seasoning and the bark removed (regardless of state of origin). It's easy enough to inspect wood for lack of bark, and it's very easy to tell the difference in fresh 'green' wood and wood that has been properly seasoned.
The wood I have at home (2 cords worth) has been seasoned for 2 1/2 years. It's very dry and great firewood. I even have separated the 'heart' wood from the wood that had (or had) bark and only use the barked wood in my home fireplace. I take the heart wood to CG's in Kentucky.
I know - there are many people that wouldn't follow the rules so allowing properly seasoned wood would just open the door a little wider to pests coming in on firewood.
I guess I wouldn't care if the wood was sold at a more reasonable price. Case in point: A cord of wood (about 125-150 cubic feet of firewood using a conservative number - some say up to 180 cubic feet) sold at $5.00 per .75 cubic foot bundle (which seems to be the going size price combo around here) yields between $833 and $1000. I figure the retailer has a 100% markup so half of that goes to the distributor/manufacturer.
Seems like a darn good profit especially if you scale it up to large retailers, and in Ky there are a few that have very large contracts with grocery stores. I'm sure the same applies to single producers that do large scale sales to the parks (where parks themselves are state certified like in Indiana).
By the way - this year marks the beginning of strict enforcement in some states (Indiana I know is enforcing and now has the legal power to levy fines for violators).
Between Gas at $4.00 a gallon (surely to rise over the summer) and firewood at $5.00 a bundle I'm sure I'll be feeling lighter in the pocket this summer.
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