TUSAYAN, Ariz. - The Williams and Tusayan districts of the Kaibab National Forest will begin offering permits for the 2014 fuelwood season on April 14, weather permitting. This year's fuelwood season will run through Dec. 31.
The Forest Service will issue permits for dead standing and downed trees for $5 a cord and green fuelwood cutting for $10. There is a minimum purchase of $20 per permit. Cords will be sold in increments to meet the $20 minimum.
The Forest Service will also issue free-use permits for the removal of downed wood within designated areas. A household may buy a maximum of six combined cords of paid fuelwood and an additional four cords of free-use fuelwood.
The removal of fuelwood is permitted only from National Forest lands on the district for which the permit is issued. Private and other non-Forest Service lands are shown on fuelwood maps attached to the permit, visitor maps and the Motor Vehicle Use Map. Fuelwood cutters are reminded to take note of property boundaries and cut only on National Forest lands.
Fuelwood cutting is permitted across the entire Williams and Tusayan ranger districts, with the exception of wilderness and other special areas shown on the map attached to the permit. However, the use of motor vehicles off of the open road system is restricted to designated fuelwood cutting units shown on the map. Within each area, fuelwood cutters may drive cross-country off of designated roads in order to find and collect wood. The map attached to each permit identifies the areas where cross-country travel is allowed.
Outside of designated cutting units, fuelwood cutters may park as much as 30 feet off the road to load fuelwood. The Forest Service encourages cutters to get a free map showing the open road system when purchasing a permit. These maps are available at all forest offices and on the Kaibab National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/kaibab/tmr.
Forest Service officials may add or update cutting areas throughout the season, and encourage fuelwood cutters to contact the ranger district offices periodically for up-to-date information.
Kaibab National Forest officials remind visitors to always be extremely careful with fire. Fuelwood cutters should be aware that chainsaws can throw sparks and ignite grasses and brush. Officials recommend visitors always carry a shovel and a fire extinguisher or water in case of a fire start. Additionally, all chainsaws must be equipped with a stainless steel spark arrestor screen. Cutters should check with forest offices periodically for information about the implementation of fire restrictions.
Additional information on fuelwood permits is available at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/kaibab/fuelwood or by contacting the Williams District Office at (928) 635-5600 and Tusayan District Office (928) 638-2443. Normal business hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.