CLOVIS--Firewood cutting and gathering season will open on the Sierra National Forest Friday, April 1, said Forest Supervisor Scott Armentrout.
The cutting and gathering of firewood is open to all individuals who obtain a woodcutting permit from the Sierra National Forest. Only dead and down trees can be cut; no green or standing dead trees can be taken under the permits. The permit allows for the gathering and cutting of firewood for personal use only, not for resale. Permits are valid from April 1 through Nov. 30.
Woodcutting permits will be available to buy beginning Friday, April 1, at Forest Service Offices in Clovis, Prather, North Fork, Oakhurst and Mariposa. The North Fork, Oakhurst and Mariposa offices will also be open on Saturday, April 2.
Permit fees for 2011 will be $10 a cord, with a two-cord minimum and a 10-cord maximum purchase a year. A cord is the amount of split wood in a stack four feet wide by four feet high by eight feet in length.
At this time of the year it is not uncommon to have roads still impassable due to snow or wet conditions, so please check on conditions before heading out to the Forest, added Armentrout.
Woodcutters need to be familiar with the terms and conditions of their permit before cutting any wood. Violations of permit terms can result in the permit being revoked and a fine of up to $5,000 and/or 6 months in jail. Cutting firewood without a permit may also result in a maximum $5,000 fine and/or jail sentence.
For additional information please contact the Forest Service in Prather (559) 855-5355, North Fork (559) 877-2218, or Clovis (559) 297-0706.