San Juan National Forest to extend free personal-use firewood cutting


By Esther Godson

San Juan National Forest

The San Juan National Forest is extending its availability of free permits for personal-use firewood cutting to the general public through June 14. The free-use permits are for personal use only and exclude the cutting of firewood for commercial purposes. 

Forest users are asked to comply with normal permit requirements and forest regulations, even when collecting forest products under the free-use allowance. Beginning Monday, June 15, free-use packets will no longer be valid and regular fuelwood permits will be available for purchase at district and forest offices across the San Juan National Forest.

These free-use permits are valid for cutting up to and a maximum of four cords of personal-use firewood. A cord is the amount of tightly piled wood in a stack 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. The authorization packets are limited to one per household and only individuals that are 18 years or older may participate in the free personal-use firewood program.

The forest is providing these authorization packets to the public in the following way:

• An individual can pick up an authorization packet at any one of the four national forest offices during regular business hours. A self-service table will be located near the front entrance at each office. Forest staff require that woodcutters leave contact information in the on-site drop box when picking up their packet.

Woodcutters must carry the authorization packet with them while cutting. The authorizations do not need to be attached to the load. Firewood cutters are also required to carry an ax or shovel and have their chain saw equipped with an approved spark arrester when cutting wood.

Offices on the San Juan National Forest are conducting business and providing visitor services virtually. For specific forest information and firewood cutting guidelines, please contact Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.