By Joel Davis
THE DAILY TIMES
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will begin enforcing stricter firewood regulations this year.
Starting in March, only heat-treated firewood that is bundled and displays a certification stamp by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or a state department of agriculture will be allowed for use in Park campgrounds.
icter limits are meant to help slow down the further spread of invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer in the Park.
“The threat of these new pests coming into our forests, both in the Park and regionally, compels us to do all we can to reduce the risk to our forests,” said Acting Superintendent Clayton Jordan.
“While a ban on the importation of nontreated firewood will not entirely halt the spread of destructive forest pests and diseases, it will greatly slow it down. This allows time to develop and implement new treatment strategies to help control the impacts from these nonnative pests and diseases.”