Thousands of visitors to the N.C. State Fair got a new accessory and the chance to spread word about the N.C. Forest Service Don’t Move Firewood campaign. Each visitor to the Fair Forest had the opportunity to answer a 10-question quiz in the Forest Service’s tent. A successful quiz netted participants a red drawstring backpack with the “don’t move firewood” message on the back.
“As folks return home and use the backpack, they are spreading our don’t move firewood message,” said Sara Thompson, N.C. Forest Service forest health specialist. “In some cases these bags will travel across the state, much like firewood does. The difference is there are no invasive pests in the bags like there could be with firewood.”
Don’t Move Firewood is a national campaign from The Nature Conservancy. It’s primary goal is to spread the word that moving firewood could transport invasive tree-killing pests to new areas. Citizens are encouraged to buy or gather firewood local to where they will burn it.
Fairgoers said they enjoyed the interactive display and they learned a lot. Many commented that they would have never guessed that firewood movement could have such consequences to our native forests. The N.C. Forest Service gave out about 6,000 backpacks during 10 days of the State Fair. The only requirement? Recipients not use the backpacks to move firewood.