Editor’s Note: This message was posted in a newsletter by the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC)

Nonnative insects and diseases threaten California’s forests and woodlands. Many of these pests can be transported long distances on firewood. Once transported to new areas, these invasive species can become established and kill large numbers of trees and shrubs. Only a concerted effort by all residents and visitors will keep our trees safe.

As an operator of an RV park and campground you can do several things to help mitigate the spread of these nonnative insects and diseases.

First, you can limit wood burning campfires to propane operated fire pits. Not only will Smokey the Bear appreciate your new policy, you will be reducing air particle emissions which California’s Air Resources Board advocates. And more so, your campers will not feel the need to bring firewood from home, eliminating the possible transfer of nonnative bugs and diseases.

If you do allow wood burning campfires, encourage your campers to “Buy it Where they Burn It.” If they do bring wood from home, encourage them to keep the wood inside their vehicles until putting it into the campfire. This reduces the possibility of spreading any unwanted guests.

Second, you as a campground operator and manager of your onsite trees and shrubs can employ “best practices” as part of your landscape maintenance. Preventing the spread of these pests to new areas is critical for protecting valuable forest resources.

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