The U.S. Forest Service today announced that local residents can purchase permits to gather firewood in two locations in the Nantahala Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, during the summer months.
To harvest firewood from the Nantahala Ranger District, residents must first purchase a firewood removal permit at the Nantahala Ranger Station office, 90 Sloan Road in Franklin. A permit costs $20.00 for approximately four cords of firewood. A permit holder may take a maximum of 16 cords (or four permits) of firewood in a calendar year.
The following are two locations where firewood can be harvested this summer:
From June 4 to August 31, local residents with permits can collect firewood in an area off National Forest Service Road (NFSR) 415A, located off NFSR 415/Lee Creek Rd. (also known as Timber Ridge Rd.). NFSR 415 is located off State Route 1130/Jones Creek Rd. in the Cartoogechaye community. A small portion of national forest in the Lee Creek area was recently harvested to promote natural regeneration of oaks, the preferred tree species.
From June 4 to July 31, local residents with permits can collect firewood in an area along NFSR 7291 on Craig Mountain, located off State Route 1104/Mullberry Rd. in the Otto community. The Craig Mountain area was non-commercially cut as part of the regeneration process. The Forest Service plans to promote regeneration of tree species in this area through prescribed burning and replanting efforts.
Firewood may not be harvested in wilderness areas, active timber sale areas, campgrounds and day-use areas. Permit holders are limited to harvesting dead and down trees; standing trees (live or dead) may not be cut. Firewood permits must be in the permit holder's possession while harvesting and transporting products. Permit sales by the Nantahala Ranger District are final and cannot be refunded or transferred. Firewood harvested under these permits is for personal use only and may not be resold.
The Forest Service encourages people to be mindful of their surroundings and road traffic when collecting firewood. All slash must be removed from roadways and ditch lines. Permit holders should use extreme caution and practice all appropriate safety measures when harvesting firewood.
Permits are available week days from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the ranger station. For more information, contact the Nantahala Ranger District office at 828-524-6441.