No permit needed for some firewood cutting in May
Beginning Friday, May 1, the Bureau of Land Management Prineville District will offer personal use firewood cutting on the 480-acre Williamson Creek Project Area located 2.7 miles east of the intersection of Millican Road and Reservoir Road. Firewood permits are required for removing firewood from BLM-administered lands and are available by calling the Prineville District Office.
Firewood cutters can take up to four cords of downed juniper for personal use only. The downed trees were cut (thinned) in spring of 2019. The firewood area will close Nov. 30 or sooner if the wood supply is depleted. Firewood cutters may not cut standing live or dead trees. The remaining old-growth juniper trees in this area have special habitat and scenic values.
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.
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 the hot, dry summer months, additional 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 no later than 6 p.m. on the day prior to going into effect.
This year, the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland will be offering free firewood collection without a permit from May 1 to May 31. After May 31, the U.S. Forest Service plans to return to the regular process of issuing firewood permits and load tags at their offices and vendor locations, unless this timeline is extended. Firewood cutters taking advantage of this opportunity will be required to follow the same rules and regulations that are in effect during the regular firewood cutting season. These rules and regulations are found in the "2020 Central Oregon Personal Use Firewood Synopsis" and on individual firewood cutting area maps.
For more information, contact the BLM Prineville District at 541-416-6700. For information about the Forest Service free firewood collection program, contact the Deschutes National Forest at 541-383-5300 or the Ochoco National Forest/Crooked River National Grassland at 541-416-6500. For information about public use restrictions, please contact any of the offices above, or visit https://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/districts/COIDC.
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