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By Ann Bond
Special to The SUN
Permits for cutting firewood on National Forest and BLM lands in southwestern Colorado went on sale at agency offices and selected retail outlets on Monday, May 6.
A minimum purchase of $20 allows the bearer to gather two-and-a-half cords of firewood from federal lands for personal use prior to December 31, 2013.
Each tag is good for one-half cord of firewood. The appropriate number of tags must be securely fastened to the firewood in a visible manner before the vehicle is driven from the place where the firewood was gathered. One household may purchase permits for up to 10 cords of firewood per year for personal use. Gathering firewood for resale requires a commercial permit.
Permits, which come with a brochure and map, are available at the Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office, 2nd and Pagosa streets.
Restrictions apply to the cutting of standing dead ponderosa pine and live Gambel oak, and some area restrictions are in place. Information on these requirements can be found on firewood tags and in accompanying brochures. Permit holders are expected to be familiar with these regulations.
Most National Forest and BLM roads are now dry enough to be opened to traffic, allowing the public to access backcountry areas. Information on specific road conditions is available on the San Juan National Forest Website. Go to: www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan/ and click on Road and Motorized Trail Information in the right-hand column to be directed to Current Road Status.