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Thread: NH firewood quarantine

  1. #1
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    NH firewood quarantine

    So, there's a quarantine on firewood in NH, which means you can't transport firewood across state lines into NH. The purpose of this quarantine is to slow the spread of invasive insect species, such as the Asian Longhorn Beetle, and the Emerald Ash Borer. NH has a large economic stake in the health of its forests (logging and tourism). Fine, I get it.

    But when I go camping at a campground, I like to have a campfire. So does everyone, ever. My options are to stop at the grocery store and spend $30-$50 on a few boxes of kiln-dried (NOT seasoned) hardwood firewood for a weekends' worth of campfires. Alternatively, I can spend that same amount on green, just-split spruce at the campground - worse wood, slightly more convenient. In either case, the fire is difficult to light, smokey, and for the spruce, short-lived.

    Can someone explain to me why there aren't more options for obtaining decent firewood in the expected locations in the Whites? It seems to me this is EASY money.

    Kiln-dried firewood at Lowes is $10/cubic foot. That's $1280/chord. WOW. Why doesn't anyone sell seasoned hardwood on the side of the road for $7/cubic foot? That's still $900/cord??!! I'd buy it.

    I mention this because I have probably 3 cord of Really Nice Hardwood firewood in my yard in MA that has been seasoning for 2 yrs now, and it is REALLY difficult to NOT take any with me camping. It's especially ironic that I can't take it into the Live Free Or Die state. Sigh.

    Am I the only one who appreciates decent firewood? Most are satisfied with that spruce crap??
    Sure. Why not.

  2. #2
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    FWIW, I had several large hemlocks taken down this year, and had the guy who dropped them cut them into 16" logs... some where still 16-24" in diameter. My wife was able to give the entire pile away and have people carry them out of our backyard. So, people are into fresh-cut spruce for their camps, I guess.

    My mother-in-law has a tree farm and does firewood, but it's in Bath, just west of the west edge of the WMNF.

    When I am out riding, I often see $5/bucket firewood for camping along the roadside, but I have no idea what you actually get (hard/soft, seasoned/kilned).

    Tim
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  3. #3
    Senior Member dave.m's Avatar
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    Consider the green spruce as practice for your bushcrafting skills!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    Can someone explain to me why there aren't more options for obtaining decent firewood in the expected locations in the Whites? It seems to me this is EASY money.
    Maybe some folks see a pile of dry firewood on the side of the road and place it in their cars without paying? Or take the can full of money? It's probably not worthwhile for someone to sit on the side of the road waiting for a few customers.
    Last edited by jfb; 09-09-2016 at 03:59 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    This certainly is annoying. Some of the campgrounds I have stayed in this year had pretty good bundles with a variety of wood inside. I was at Crawford Notch Campground this past WED and THU night and they had $6 bundles that were a mixture of birch, oak and other wood. Weren't terribly large logs but they burnt nice. We burned 3 bundles a night for a roughly 4 hour fire. The firewood on sale at the closest general store was pretty lousy.

    I think the bargain of the year for me was the $3 bundles at Baxter which were fairly large and nice wood. Most expensive was Paradox Lake NY at $9 bundle, although to be fair they were very nice bundles of nice logs and each one came with a fire tarter stick inside. It certainly is a hell of a lot more convenient to just get the wood at the campsite and I'm willing to pay for that convenience to a certain extent as long as the wood is decent. Was lucky this year I guess.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Some of the campgrounds I have stayed in this year had pretty good bundles with a variety of wood inside.
    If I owned a campground, I'd surely have a supply of really good firewood for sale for my customers. It would make my campground more desirable.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    So, there's a quarantine on firewood in NH, which means you can't transport firewood across state lines into NH. The purpose of this quarantine is to slow the spread of invasive insect species, such as the Asian Longhorn Beetle, and the Emerald Ash Borer. NH has a large economic stake in the health of its forests (logging and tourism). Fine, I get it.

    But when I go camping at a campground, I like to have a campfire. So does everyone, ever. My options are to stop at the grocery store and spend $30-$50 on a few boxes of kiln-dried (NOT seasoned) hardwood firewood for a weekends' worth of campfires. Alternatively, I can spend that same amount on green, just-split spruce at the campground - worse wood, slightly more convenient. In either case, the fire is difficult to light, smokey, and for the spruce, short-lived.

    Can someone explain to me why there aren't more options for obtaining decent firewood in the expected locations in the Whites? It seems to me this is EASY money.

    Kiln-dried firewood at Lowes is $10/cubic foot. That's $1280/chord. WOW. Why doesn't anyone sell seasoned hardwood on the side of the road for $7/cubic foot? That's still $900/cord??!! I'd buy it.

    I mention this because I have probably 3 cord of Really Nice Hardwood firewood in my yard in MA that has been seasoning for 2 yrs now, and it is REALLY difficult to NOT take any with me camping. It's especially ironic that I can't take it into the Live Free Or Die state. Sigh.

    Am I the only one who appreciates decent firewood? Most are satisfied with that spruce crap??
    I usually see firewood for sale on route 16 in NH heading north out of the back of trucks or roadside. There may not be as many options on the 93 end, but I'm not headed up that way often. I find some irony in knowing that I can move firewood legally from Dover, NH two hours north to the MWV but you better not bring it 5 miles from Fryeburg, Me to Conway.....unless you're a in logging truck and have a lot of wood....then apparently you can cross state borders with fresh cut trees all day long. I guess someone from "big wood" must have spoken to the beetles and made it clear they were to only infest wood being carried by the little people.

    If the campsites do not provide reasonable prices on wood, people will simply sneak it in and that defeats the point. NH is 84% forested. We can provide firewood for campers at a fair price I think. If I owned a campground, I would provide enough firewood at every site for a normal evening fire and just include my basic cost in the site fee.

    **Thread Drift**

    I can't help but see the similarity with airport water bottles.

    I used to be able to fill a metal bottle of free, healthy water to bring to the airport.

    Now, I have to buy that water inside the airport at astronomical prices. If I pay $5/liter, that's over $18 a gallon for a basic need of life...and yet people talk incessantly about gas prices changing by a dime at $2/gallon. And since the water is only sold in plastic bottles at the airport, I can now ingest a bunch of estrogen along with my H2O. "BPA free" is a facade. Don't be fooled. It was replaced with BPS, just another plasticizer and endocrine disrupter.

    **Thread Drift Off**

    Brian - if you are coming up 95/16 one of these weekends, message me and I'll give you a load on your way up as a gesture to make up for the carpetbaggers. I've got 6-7 cord stacked in my yard.
    Last edited by Raven; 09-10-2016 at 04:25 AM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    If I owned a campground, I would provide enough firewood at every site for a normal evening fire and just include my basic cost in the site fee.
    Agreed. At a small lodge for rent in a conservation area near us, seasoned firewood is provided in the cost of rental. It just makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    Brian - if you are coming up 95/16 one of these weekends, message me and I'll give you a load on your way up as a gesture to make up for the carpetbaggers. I've got 6-7 cord stacked in my yard.
    Same here, Brian -- we're off the beaten path a bit, but if Raven is not around and you need a load of firewood on one of your weekends in the Whites, we'll be happy to give you some, too. Message me. We have a few seasoned cords stacked in the back yard.

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    This site may help: http://www.firewoodscout.org

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    If up in the Gorham area, there is usually camp wood by the bundle in an open shelter right across from Libby Pool on route 16. Cash box on the side of the shelter.

  11. #11
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Friends- Thank you for your kind offers. We're clearly all on the same page, and I agree completely with the entirety of your post, Raven. I may have one more car-camping weekend with the family this fall. If it works out to mooch some wood, that would be super-awesome.
    Sure. Why not.

  12. #12
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    Its not easy money. Ossipee Mtn Firewood appears to be in business to provide it but many of the suppliers are mom and pop operations. I knew of a few families where the kids were the workers, its was an expected part of their chores and that was part of the support of the family. I expect given the current climate, the parents would now get hauled off to court and their children taken away from them for setting those expectations

    Few folks would voluntarily cut trees commercially for firewood, they usually sell the boles for higher grades and the firewood grade material is the leftovers sold for dollars a cord at the cutting site. If its chipped and hauled they get at best $30 a ton for green wood and about $25 of that is trucking cost. This is mostly automated. Folks who go to various agricultural fairs like Fryeburg have seen automated wood processors that take logs and make cut and split firewood. Unfortunately they usually only work well with long straight logs that would be best sold at much higher profit to a lumbermill or pallet mill.

    Unfortunately more than few mom and pops report getting ripped off if they go with the honor system. Most stores carry firewood as much as a convenience to get folks into the store but regard it as a loss leader. Cumberland Farms leaves it outside at many stores and I expect more than few folks walk way with bundles. Its profit per pound and cubic foot is low. Most stores don't have a lot of storage space. There is a lot of handling and the seasonality of the business is such that capital investment in automation is limited. On one of the other forums I frequent someone built a automated vending machine that accepts debit cards and it takes up a lot of space and was about 10 K.

    I was just up at BSP this weekend and at one campground the wood was quite green. The volume is reasonable for the cost but my general experience is that its not well seasoned. It beats vendors that sell green slab boards which are mostly bark.

    I do feel that a campground should be required to set in place a means of firewood supply on site including the WMNF. Unfortunately I cant support unlimited free firewood as some individuals don't seem to mix common sense with bonfires fueled in at least in part by alcohol. At past VFTT gatherings, any campground supplying the wood would get cleaned out in a heart beat. If I remember correctly 19 full sized truckloads of pallets and slab wood were consumed in one weekend in VT at a VFTT event. The firepit was 20 feet in diameter and it was uncomfortable to stand within 50 feet of the fire and when things were really going 100 feet was even too warm.

    I may end up with a large volume of low grade hardwood from thinning beech blighted trees. If anyone wants to figure out a business model for selling firewood in a prime unattended site along a major highway in the heart of the white mountains feel free to PM me.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 09-12-2016 at 10:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    I can't help but see the similarity with airport water bottles.

    I used to be able to fill a metal bottle of free, healthy water to bring to the airport.

    Now, I have to buy that water inside the airport at astronomical prices. If I pay $5/liter, that's over $18 a gallon for a basic need of life...and yet people talk incessantly about gas prices changing by a dime at $2/gallon. And since the water is only sold in plastic bottles at the airport, I can now ingest a bunch of estrogen along with my H2O. "BPA free" is a facade. Don't be fooled. It was replaced with BPS, just another plasticizer and endocrine disrupter.
    Slightly off topic, but when my wife and I travel we bring empty water bottles through security and fill them up at water fountains past the checkpoints. Burlington Airport even has water fountains that accommodate bottles.

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    Senior Member Willoughby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Eagan View Post
    Slightly off topic, but when my wife and I travel we bring empty water bottles through security and fill them up at water fountains past the checkpoints. Burlington Airport even has water fountains that accommodate bottles.
    Water refill stations past security are becoming more popular as the ecological damage of plastic bottles becomes clear. I've seen them at some terminals at Logan, and also IIRC in Fort Myers. (Sanibel Island, a popular tourist destination near Fort Myers, has banned single-use water bottles. Better bring your nalgenes!)

  15. #15
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Peakbagger, your points are well taken, and you're right, having spent my fair share of time behind a chainsaw and a splitting maul, 'easy money' is probably not a fair characterization. I suppose what I meant was there's money to be made, I think. Though I could be wrong. The interesting thing about the 93 corridor past Ashland and the rt 16/302/2/northern woods area is it's relatively cheap to live there, yet there's a substantial influx of Boston residents (and their money) making their way through every weekend. If a high school kid could net a few $k in a summer, s/he'd be doing pretty well. Maybe 'kids these days just don't want to work.' ;-) But a job of hauling around some wood in a trailor, replenishing a few stations around town, and finding some creative means to deal with security, seems like a potentially lucrative, and certainly pedagogical, summer job.

    Dollars on the cord for leftovers at a cutting site - that's really amazing. In MA, if we can even find someone who has a supply (usually tree services), we're looking at ~$150/cord for a 3-4 cord load of green knotty logs.

    Honestly, I think what it comes down to for me is the fact that it kills me to leave my lovely, seasoned hardwood at home to spend a bunch of money on crap near the campground. In addition to the prospect that there's money to be made, it seems like NH would do itself a favor by providing decent wood. The exception with log trucks moving wood at will is a bit mind boggling and makes it even harder for an individual to maintain discipline (though I have, so far).
    Sure. Why not.

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