San Juan National Forest to offer free personal-use firewood cutting
The San Juan National Forest is offering free permits for personal-use firewood cutting to the general public from May 1 through May 31, 2020. The free-use permits are for personal use only and exclude the cutting of firewood for commercial purposes. Forest users are asked to comply with normal permit requirements and Forest regulations, even when collecting forest products under the free-use allowance. Beginning Monday, June 1, free-use packets will no longer be valid and regular fuelwood permits will be available for purchase at District and Forest offices across the San Juan National Forest.
These free-use permits are valid for cutting up to and a maximum of 4 cords of personal-use firewood. A cord is the amount of tightly piled wood in a stack four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long. The authorization packets are limited to one per household and only individuals that are 18 years or older may participate in the free personal-use firewood program.
The Forest is providing these authorization packets to the public in the following way:
- An individual can pick up an authorization packet at any one of the four National Forest offices during regular business hours. A self-service table will be located near the front entrance at each office. Forest staff require that woodcutters leave contact information in the on-site drop box when picking up their packet.
Woodcutters must carry the authorization packet with them while cutting. The authorizations do not need to be attached to the load. Firewood cutters are also required to carry an axe or shovel and have their chainsaw equipped with an approved spark arrester when cutting wood.
San Juan National Forest officials urge the public to plan ahead and contact their local ranger district prior to starting their trip. Many forest roads are still not accessible due to mud, snow or snow drifts. In addition, traveling on thawing, saturated or muddy roads can result in resource damage and serious safety concerns, especially if visitors are unprepared.
For specific Forest information and firewood cutting guidelines, please contact one of the San Juan National Forest offices listed below:
- San Juan NF Headquarters (970) 247-4874
- Columbine Ranger District (970) 884-2512
- Dolores Ranger District (970) 882-7296
- Pagosa Ranger District (970) 264-2268