If you’re heading out for a trip here in Lake George, or even planning a day trip out on an island, the firewood you use is a key to living in a lake-friendly way. Make sure it is local, and don’t bring it from home if you live further than 50 miles away.
Why? There’s a nasty little beetle at work in New York State that is destroying the ash trees in the western part of the state. It’s called the Emerald Ash Borer (or EAB for short), and once it makes a tree its home, the tree is virtually doomed to die within a few years. With over 800,000 ash trees in the Lake George watershed, our forests, and in turn, our lake, cannot afford to host this invasive insect.
New York State has passed a law banning the transport of untreated firewood over 50 miles from its source. Yet many well-meaning people are totally unaware of the law, and the dangers of transporting firewood long distances, and are used to throwing a few pieces of firewood from home in their car trunk before heading out to camp or picnic.
This summer, the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation has set up checkpoints to stop travelers and check for firewood. Sometimes violators receive warnings, sometimes they are fined.
The EAB was first found near Detroit in 2002 and though small enough to fit easily on penny, it is highly destructive. As it has spread to the east, it has destroyed tens of millions of trees. There is no known way to destroy these insects.
Discovered in New York State for the first time in 2009, the EAB is now located in Orange, Cattaraugus, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Steuben, Ulster and Greene counties. So, if you are visiting us from those counties, please make sure to buy your firewood locally, and let your camping friends and neighbors know about the law. Our lake and our forests depend upon it.
To learn more about forest pests, and to see links for maps showing a 50-mile radius from our Lake George area campgrounds, please visit the LGA website here.