Firewood Shortage Creates Business Opportunity



State officials say a shortage of firewood in Tennessee campgrounds could be a business opportunity for entrepreneurs.

There’s a shortage of heat-treated firewood, specifically. Officials have banned untreated firewood at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee State Parks, and at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–Nashville District campgrounds.

Why? Tree-killing pests. State officials said Monday that the insects and the diseases they carry are becoming “an increasing problem in Tennessee and all over the United States.” The insects can’t move far on their own but can move hundreds of miles when visitors transport firewood to sites in their cars.

“As public agencies continue to protect our forests through these firewood policies, more citizens will need to have sources of safer firewood,” said Trish Johnson, director of forest conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee. “This demand is creating new opportunities for local entrepreneurs to help our forests and gain a new source of income.”

Government officials want to help would-be firewood entrepreneurs learn the business. A free workshop in Jackson on Friday, April 21 will show participants how to start up their operations, how to prepare firewood for sale and for use in Tennessee parks, and about the dangers of untreated firewood.

The workshop is scheduled from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. at the University of Tennessee Extension Center. Staff from Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, The Nature Conservancy, and The University of Tennessee will be on hand.

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