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Permits To Chop

Sonora, CA – With the warm temperatures this winter and the ongoing drought, chopping firewood may not be on the top of your list to do, but forest officials remind wood burners that permits will be available next month.

Beginning April 1, the public will be able to purchase Personal Use Fuelwood Permits for the Stanislaus National Forest.  The permits, available through November 30 at ranger stations, allow a maximum ten cords per household, at $25 per two-and-a-half cords.

Forest Service spokesperson Georgia Dempsey says there are strict regulations, “You have to have a chainsaw that’s got an approved serviceable spark arrestor for example, and you have to have a working fire extinguisher with you on site.”  The entire list of rules will be posted at ranger stations. Additionally, firewood gatherers will need to be aware of any road closures, due to weather or road conditions. Currently, “We have some travel cap roads that are still closed and will be until mid-April,” she says. “We just advise people that before heading out…to cut wood that they chat with folks at the district ranger offices to make sure that they’re on roads that are open for the season.”

Woodcutters are reminded to be careful in the Rim Fire area and to watch out for tree snags that could fall.  For more permit details, you can call any one of these numbers:

  • Stanislaus Supervisor’s Office at: 209-532-3671
  • Calaveras Ranger District (RD) at 209-795-1381
  • Groveland RD at 209-962-7825
  • Mi-Wok RD at 209-586-3234
  • Summit RD at 209-965-3434