Transporting firewood for camping trips may seem harmless, but even the cleanest looking logs can contain insect larvae, fungal spores or seeds. A single log from outside of PEI could be responsible for the introduction of a new invasive species that could cause untold harm to the island’s natural environment.
Don’t Move Firewood Project
We have a unique opportunity on PEI to limit the spread of invasive species. If we can eliminate the import of firewood to campsites from outside our province we can reduce the opportunities for these species to become established.
A pilot program is now underway on PEI where campers using federal and provincial campsites can exchange out-of-province firewood for locally sourced wood. The PEI Invasive Species Council has worked with Parks Canada and the PEI Provincial Government to develop this program to limit the spread of invasive species.
Firewood disposal bins have been placed at the visitor centres at both vehicular points of entry for campers to dispose of firewood. Campers disposing of wood at the disposal bins will receive a coupon for a free bundle of firewood when they arrive at their campsites.
The wood in the bins will then be safely transported to PEI Energy Systems to be incinerated.
List of participating campgrounds:
Brudenell River Provincial Park
Cabot Beach Provincial Park
Cedar Dunes Provincial Park
Jacques Cartier Provincial Park
Linkletter Provincial Park
Northumberland Provincial Park
Panmure Island Provincial Park
Red Point Provincial Park
Cavendish Campground PEI National Park
Stanhope Campground PEI National Park
In 2019, a Don’t Move Firewood Committee was formed on PEI and since then they have worked hard to implement this project and work with partners to see it through. The committee’s members are made up of representatives from the PEI Invasive Species Council, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, provincial departments of: Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture – Environment, Energy and Climate Change – Transportation and Infrastructure.
This project would not have been possible without the generous support of the participating organizations. It is exciting to have worked with so many partners, it truly demonstrates that invasive species are everyone’s concern and we can successfully work together to manage them.
Thank you to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for funding the bins, and to the City of Charlottetown who’s funding paid for most of the cost of the decals.
Thank you to the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Change for funding and organizing the safe transfer of wood from the bins to PEI energy systems.
Thank you to the PEI National and Provincial Parks who have agreed to participate in our exchange program and donate their locally sourced wood.
Thank you to the Wood Islands and Area Development and the Borden Visitor Center for allowing us the opportunity to place the bins at their sites.
Thank you to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure for implementing a Screening Stations Protocol that lets campers know about our initiative at the provincial border
Thank you to the Belfast and Area Watershed Group and a private contractor for securely delivering the bin contents to PEI energy systems for incineration.
Thank you again to CFIA for organizing and implementing an insect sampling system inside the bin so that we can get an idea as to what invasive pests might be present.