January 06, 2009
Waterbury, Vt. - The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) announced today that sign-ups will be accepted for personal use firewood lots in selected state forests January 2nd through February 6, 2009. Wood Warms builds upon the successful 1970s state firewood program when Vermonters took to the forests and harvested their own firewood.
Governor Douglas highlighted the wood warms program as part of his Fuel and Food Partnership – a taskforce focused on mitigating the effects of the higher prices of fuel that had emerged in the summer of 2008. “While the price of gasoline and heating fuel may have temporarily declined, other costs of living continue to climb,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “We know that there is no one cause of this economic downturn – and there is no one solution. Programs like Wood Warms are great steps to help Vermonters control their heating costs and break their dependence on foreign oil,” he said.
FPR‘s foresters mark trees to be harvested in a limited number of roadside 3-cord lots. Individuals can buy the standing wood on these lots to cut and transport over the summer months for home use. Individuals may purchase only one lot per year for personal use. The costs for the lots in 2009 will rise to $10/cord, and no mechanized “skidding” of wood to the roadside will be allowed. All participants are strongly encouraged to learn chainsaw safety skills to use this equipment on firewood lots.
Officials said there is expected to be more demand for firewood than in previous years, and some areas of the state have fewer accessible lots available than others. If demand exceeds supply, Firewood lots will be distributed through a lottery system.
FPR is also cooperating with other state agencies, local community action agencies and local volunteers to provide cut & split wood through the Wood Warms Initiative. Wood from state forestland is being stockpiled at several Agency of Transportation facilities around the state this winter and will be processed and distributed by local volunteers next summer. Low income Vermonters interested in this program can contact their local community action agency for information on availability and eligibility.
The following are the areas (and contact info) that will have individual firewood lots in 2009:
• Barre District (802-476-0170): Lots located in the towns of Orange, Morristown & Roxbury.
• Springfield District (802-885-8845): Lots located in the towns of Bridgewater, Cavendish, Grafton, Ludlow, Plymouth, Rockingham, Sharon, Weathersfield & Weston.
• Rutland District (802-786-0060): Lots located in the towns of Castleton and Shrewsbury.
For more general information and chainsaw safety visit www.vtfpr.org
Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: January 06, 2009 08:50:53