By Esther Godson
The San Juan National Forest began selling permits to cut firewood this year at select retail outlets across the Forest on May 3. Specific agency offices will begin offering permits for sale utilizing established protocols and times listed below as well. A minimum purchase of $20 allows the permit holder to gather two and a half cords of dead and downed firewood from the San Juan National Forest for personal use.
Permits are divided into five separate tags; each tag is good for one-half cord of firewood and can be used separately or all at one time. One household may purchase a permit for up to 10 cords of firewood per year for personal use. A cord is measured as a stack 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet. Restrictions apply to cutting standing dead ponderosa pine and live Gambel oak. Cutting firewood for commercial resale requires a commercial permit. Permits are valid until Dec. 31.
Chain saws must have an approved spark arrester and it is recommended operators carry an ax or shovel. Fire restrictions may be put in place during the summer; it is the permit holder’s responsibility to adhere to any additional fire restrictions posted. Permit holders are expected to abide by all regulations written on their permit. More information on firewood gathering regulations is available on the website’s forest products permits Web page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sanjuan/passes-permits/forestproducts.
Individuals can also purchase permits at Pagosa Ranger District, 180 Pagosa St., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Service will be provided through a walk-up window near the office front door. The office will not be open.
All offices on the San Juan National Forest are currently providing services virtually. For information on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874.