Firewood permits on sale
Personal use firewood collection on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland started this month and will remain open through Nov. 30.
Firewood permits are on sale at Forest Service offices across Central Oregon and at select businesses.
The Prineville Bureau of Land Management will be offering juniper woodcutting this year on 485 acres near the intersection of Millican Road and Reservoir Road. That unit will open late and will run from July 1 to Nov. 30.
Permits sell for $10 per cord, with a minimum two-cord purchase required. Each household may purchase up to eight cords annually. Permit holders will receive a "Firewood Synopsis," a publication illustrating the areas where the public has access to collect firewood after purchasing a firewood permit.
It is the responsibility of the permit holder to read the Firewood Synopsis in order to understand which tree species are available for firewood cutting and gathering in the designated areas. It is prohibited to possess or remove trees that have been cut illegally.
Many areas have different opening dates, and some have off-road vehicle use restrictions. Permit holders need to pay particular attention to the rules and regulations, as well as the specific cutting designations listed on each cutting area map in the synopsis. Compliance with those regulations will allow the Forest Service to continue to offer new cutting areas to the public.
Firewood cutters are required to carry a shovel, an 8-ounce capacity or larger fire extinguisher, and have their chainsaw equipped with an approved spark arrester when cutting wood.
During early spring months, many forest roads are still inaccessible due to snow. Forest visitors are asked to use extreme care to avoid getting stuck or causing extensive and illegal resource damage to the land and vegetation.
During the hot, dry summer months, public use restrictions may be implemented. Restrictions could limit the hours that firewood cutting is available, or prohibit them entirely during periods of high fire danger.
Restrictions will be announced by 6 p.m. on the day prior to the restriction(s) going into effect and will be posted to Central Oregon National Forest websites and through the Central Oregon Interagency DispatchCenter at https://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/districts/COIDC.
Be sure to "Know Before You Go." Grab a free copy ofthe Motor Vehicle Use Map for the area where you'll be cutting, or download a free version onto your smartphone, to ensure you are traveling on designated roads.
Find the free motor vehicle use maps online. For the Deschutes National Forest, go to https://go.usa.gov/xQKGq. For the Ochoco National Forest, visit https://go.usa.gov/xQKGa.