TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Those interested in gathering firewood for the cooler Arizona months have the opportunity to purchase a permit from the Santa Catalina Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest, and gather that firewood on Mt. Lemmon.
Permits were first made available on Nov. 3 and will run through Dec. 15. They are issued in two-cord increments at a cost of $20 per permit, with a one permit per household limit. Each permit authorizes the collection of dry-dead and down and dead standing (no live branches) wood that is less than eight inches in diameter at chest height, both on Mt. Lemmon and in the Oracle area, according to a Forest Service release.
Cutting area maps and program regulations are provided with the permit or upon request. To mitigate the spread of bark beetles, removal of green wood is not authorized. Permit holders may collect and remove dry wood only from the collection areas. Fuelwood must be removed for personal use only.
The cutting season began Nov. 3, and will end on April 15, 2015. Access to fuelwood areas on Mt. Lemmon will be limited by winter conditions. Mt. Bigelow Road is scheduled to close December 15 or when the first snowfall limits travel, and will reopen again when conditions permit. This usually occurs annually by March 1 but will be determined by snow levels.
Permits can be paid for by credit card, cash, check or money order (made payable to USDA Forest Service). Those purchasing permits will need to provide one form of identification and the description and license plate number of the vehicle/trailer that will be used to collect the wood. A maximum of two vehicles will be authorized per permit. All sales are final.
Permits may be obtained at the Ranger District Office (5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays. Those wishing to purchase a permit should call (520) 749-7700 to schedule an appointment.