Recent cooler temperatures have spurred an uptick in firewood cutting across the Gila National Forest and a correlated increase in reports of illegal firewood cutting. The Gila National Forest is managed to provide a ready source of firewood for local communities. Permits are affordable and easy to obtain.

“We recognize that many local residents and families rely on firewood for winter heat in their homes,” said Camille Howes, Gila National Forest Supervisor. “You can help ensure the resource use is sustainable for current and future generations by complying with permit requirements.”

Firewood permits cost $2 per cord, and a minimum purchase of 10 cords is required. Firewood may be cut through December 31 during daylight hours only. Those cutting and transporting wood must have their firewood permit, load tags, and the firewood guide. Load tags must be marked with the date of removal and attached visibly to the load.

Permits allow cutting and removing all dead-and-down wood of any species and size. Dead-standing trees of any size may be cut except for oak and ponderosa pine – ponderosa pine is limited to less than 12 inches in diameter at the root crown.

Stumps should be left no taller than 12 inches, and slash must be scattered within 24 inches of the ground. Cutting or felling of trees or logs marked with paint or tagged is prohibited, as well as within timber sale areas, on or across roads, within 100 feet of the centerline of live flowing streams, or as posted. Green firewood can only be cut and removed from within designated green fuelwood areas and dead limbs can never be removed from live-standing trees. Other restrictions apply.

Offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except for the Black Range and Quemado ranger districts, which close at 4 p.m. For more information call the Silver City Ranger District at (575) 388-8201 or visit