After a long, snowy winter, people are anxious to get out and enjoy public lands for hunting, firewood gathering and general recreation.
Firewood permits are now available on the Coconino National Forest. The cost of a permit is still $5 per cord with a minimum purchase of $20 for four cords and a maximum purchase of 10 cords per individual or household.
These permits allow for the following:
• Any dead wood lying on the ground can be removed.
• Dead standing pine or fir can be cut that is less than 12 inches in diameter or less than 15 feet tall.
• Dead standing pinyon and juniper can be cut regardless of size, unless there is obvious use by wildlife.
• Standing dead aspen less than 12 inches in diameter can be cut only from June 1 to Sept. 30.
• No cutting of any standing oak due to its value for wildlife.
A free use permit may be obtained for the removal of dead and down wood only from specified areas of the forest and up to five cords of wood may be gathered with this permit. Maps are provided with each permit.
Firewood cutters will find many forest roads still subject to seasonal closure, too wet and muddy to sustain vehicle traffic. Roads will be re-opened as conditions permit, with public safety and resource damage prevention as priorities.
Starting this year, load tags will be issued as part of each firewood permit. Four load tags will be provided for each cord of wood issued on the permit. The goal of the new load tagging system is to ensure accountability for the amount of wood removed from the forest. Permits are available at the following locations, open Monday through Friday unless otherwise indicated:
• Peaks Ranger Station, Flagstaff, (928) 526-0866
• Mogollon Rim Ranger Station, Blue Ridge, (928) 477-2255
• Coconino National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Flagstaff, (928) 527-3600
• Red Rock Ranger Station, Village of Oak Creek, (928) 282-4119 (Open 7 days/week)
• Verde Ranger Station, Camp Verde, (928) 567-4121. Information, including forest road status, is posted at www.coconinoforest.us.