The Colorado State Forest Service is offering the public firewood from the Colorado State Forest in north-central Colorado for a minimal fee of $10 per cord.
The CSFS is selling self-serve permits for the low fee to encourage citizens to help remove a build-up of dead wood in the area that inhibits new growth and could fuel an intense wildfire. Removing wood will also help reduce logging debris in the vicinity of main roads and trails, to address public safety concerns. A majority of the area included in the 2014 firewood area is comprised of logging debris from recent mountain pine beetle-infested harvest locations and recently fallen dead lodgepole pine.
The State Forest has 28,000 acres of lodgepole pine, a majority of which have been impacted in recent years by mountain pine beetles. Only trees no longer housing live bark beetles or their larvae have been identified for removal, making the wood safe to transport.
“Our firewood program is intended to provide a low-cost heating alternative, while helping clean up logging debris left over after harvest operations. This helps reduce fire risk, further improving public safety and improving aesthetics,” said Hunter Townsend, State Forest manager for the CSFS.
Townsend said those interested in harvesting the firewood should come prepared with a chainsaw and personal protective equipment. A majority of the wood is adjacent to County Road 41 and simply needs to be cut into manageable sizes and hauled off. The CSFS asks that all vehicles pull as far off the county road as possible to reduce the risk of an accident.
The Colorado State Forest offers 72,000 acres of forests, peaks and alpine lakes with many miles of access trails. While responsibility for recreation management at the State Forest falls under the jurisdiction of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the CSFS is responsible for forest management. A Colorado State Parks pass is required to recreate in the State Forest, but not to gather firewood with a permit.
Interested woodcutters can buy a $10 permit and pick up a map of the firewood area on a self-serve basis at the CSFS office located at 59228 Highway 14 (6 miles west of Cameron Pass and adjacent to Ranger Lakes). For more information about the State Forest firewood program, call 970-723-4505.