Woodcutting season in the Eldorado National Forest will open early this year, beginning on March 16 rather than the usual April 1, announced Forest Supervisor Ramiro Villalvazo.
The 2011 fuelwood permits will expire on Dec. 31. The opening date change came about partly due to the economic times and the many people requesting woodcutting permits. Woodcutting will now be allowed year-round in the Eldorado National Forest.
All the roads in the national forest are not currently open. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on dirt roads since the wet weather seasonal road closure remains in effect in the Eldorado National Forest. Parking is allowed one car length off the road. Dirt roads will be opened when they dry out and the seasonal closure is officially lifted.
“I have decided that we will issue fuelwood permits year-round and forest-wide,” said Villalvazo. “I believe there are opportunities for the public to find downed wood off of roads that are open during our seasonal closure. Given the economic times, I want to allow folks to be able to collect wood if they can.”
Fuelwood permits can be purchased at any Eldorado National Forest Ranger Station. Fuelwood must be removed according to the terms of the permit. No standing dead trees larger than 10 inches in diameter can be cut. The permits are non-transferable, non-refundable and are sold for $15 per cord with a two cord minimum purchase.
Open roads and those subject to seasonal closure are identified on a map that is free of charge and available at all Eldorado National Forest offices and on the Eldorado National Forest website: www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado.