New firewood policy in place at Davidson County campgrounds - WSMV News 4

New firewood policy in place at Davidson County campgrounds

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The emerald ash borer is now in 59 Tennessee counties. (Source: TN Department of Agriculture) The emerald ash borer is now in 59 Tennessee counties. (Source: TN Department of Agriculture)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A new policy is in effect at campgrounds in Nashville that will affect what firewood campers use.

"The public has been pretty receptive to it," said Lindsey Sullivan, a park ranger. "The new policy essentially makes campers have to bring in certified heat-treated firewood."

Experts say the reason is because of invasive pests killing trees.

"It is very common to find an introduction of these pests at campground where people camp and take firewood unbeknownst to them, moving it hundreds of hundreds of miles," said Tim Phelps with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry.

A prime example of an invasive species wiping out trees in Tennessee is emerald ash borer.

Ash borers have been spreading across the state from east to west and now in 59 counties.

"You might say, well if it's already happening, why this need for more stringent policy when we already lost the battle, so to speak. With Emerald Ash Borer, well there are others particularly the Asian long-horn beetles," Phelps said.

The new policy would require all campers to buy state-certified heat-treated wood.

"It kills the organisms living just beneath the bark of the tree," Phelps said.

The heat-treated wood will ensure visitors will not bring unwanted campers along with them.

As for this camping season, rangers hope to just issue warnings educating the public about the new policy, though if they do not comply, a fine could be issued.

Heat-treated wood is available at many gas stations, Tractor Supply Company and Home Depot. 

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