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Traveling to Another State for the Great American Eclipse? USDA has a Reminder for You!

Posted by Tevon Blair, USDA APHIS, Writer-Editor Intern in Forestry
Aug 14, 2017
Plan to buy your firewood where you will be lodging for the best eclipse view.

August 21 marks the date for the Great American Eclipse of 2017, with people from around the country planning to travel to get the best views. Before you take to the road to reach your solar eclipse festival, make a plan to buy or gather firewood near your destination. Moving firewood presents a high risk for moving invasive pests that destroy the trees we love and count on for so many things: respite from the summer heat, the quiet of a favorite campsite, and the shady sidewalks around your neighborhood.

USDA’s Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) along with The Nature Conservancy encourages travelers who plan to use firewood while camping for the solar eclipse weekend to buy firewood near their ultimate viewing destination.

“Buy or collect local firewood.” says Leigh Greenwood, the Don’t Move Firewood campaign manager for The Nature Conservancy. “Your firewood choices during this solar eclipse celebration can prevent the spread of forest insects and diseases like the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, gypsy moth, and others on potentially infested wood.”

Traveling to new areas with firewood may result in unknowingly spreading invasive tree pests from one part of a State or region of the country to other new locations. The eclipse will travel across the whole country, from Oregon all the way into South Carolina. While traveling to get the best view, keep in mind that many states, park and camp grounds will have restrictions on the type of firewood that you can use at their location. Before you go, call ahead to check the guidance at your specific campground, or find state and federal regulations for each State at the Don’t Move Firewood map, found at

States in the path of the total solar eclipse are preparing for a major influx of out of state visitors. “We’re estimating 500,000 additional visitors will come to Wyoming to view this once-in-a-lifetime event,” says Ryan DeSantis, Forest Health Program Manager for the Wyoming State Forestry Division. “If you are planning to have a campfire, please buy firewood near your destination, or plan to collect firewood if that’s allowed at your campsite.”

With your help, we can all play a role in keeping our forests free of invasive insects and diseases.

NASA has tracked the upcoming eclipse’s path and you can find your best vantage point on their website.

Truck with firewood
Packing firewood for your journey to see the eclipse can move invasive wood boring pests.
Category/Topic: Forestry