I can hear you now, "what the heck does firewood have to do with fish?"
You may have elected to use a word more emphatic than the "heck."
Well, "heck," firewood has quite a bit to do with fish. In the summertime, and in the wintertime for that matter, campfires provide a nice place to gather after a long day of fishing...a place where you can share a little "truth" about the big fish that got away.
When you get firewood, get it from the local area. Ideally, you should purchase firewood that comes from only a few miles away from your campsite.
Turns out that firewood can transport nuisance species.
The Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned beetle have been causing quite a bit of "heck" in our forests. Both species have been, and can be, transported in firewood.
The Emerald Ash Borer has killed over 50 million ash trees in sixteen States and Provinces. The Asian Longhorned beetle is less selective but equally as destructive; it will attack birch, chestnut, green ash, willow, mulberry, and maple as well as other varieties. After being accidently introduced in the 1990's, Asian Longhorned beetles are now found throughout the US and Canada. In New York City alone, over 4,000 trees have been removed due to infestation. Officials are keeping their eyes on 66,000 more.
"So what the heck does this have to do with fishing?" I can still hear your question.
Trees keep sediment and pollution out of rivers. Trees help to maintain cooler water temperatures. Trees stabilize banks. Trees' roots often become habitat for fish. Their leaves, when they drop, become food for invertibrates. Invertibrates, when they grow, become food for fish.
Emerald Ash Borers and Asian Longhorn beetles have taken more than their share of trees out of the environment. That causes "heck" for our fish.
So the next time you get firewood, get it locally. "Heck," pick it up a few miles from your campsite. You'll be helping to prevent the spread of Emerald Ash Borers and Asian Longhorn beetles. You'll also save a few trees in the process. You'll be doing your fish a favor as well.
For more Stewardship Tips visit www.RecycledFish.org