The Darby/Sula Ranger District has announced that it will allow the public to access portions of the Westside Timber Sale area to gather firewood.
Available slash piles are located south and west of Hamilton on the Observation Point and Moose Ridge Roads #496, 5620 and 62953. Due to future harvest activity, slash piles along the Lost Horse Road (#429) are not included in this cutting area.
Recent timber sale thinning of overstocked areas have resulted in large landing/slash piles along the road. The public is being allowed to access these piles for firewood gathering purposes only under the following conditions:
• You must have (or purchase) a valid firewood cutting permit and have it with you while harvesting wood.
• Cutting is restricted to existing piles only. Please do not cut standing trees or trees with paint on them in the active timber sale units.
• Use wide shoulders and turnouts for parking. No driving off roads or blocking roads.
• Drive defensively and watch for log truck traffic and hunters. Law enforcement will be monitoring the roads.
• Do not tear apart hand/landing piles and bring along a rake for cleaning road surfaces of debris. Pile slash away from roads and ditches.
• Be aware of overhead and walking hazards around the piles. Cut at your own risk as pile material may shift.
Woodcutters are reminded of the requirements to have a spark arrester on their chainsaws and to carry a shovel, bucket and fire extinguisher at all times.
You can purchase firewood permits at any Bitterroot National Forest office, M-F, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per cord and there is a four cord ($20) minimum purchase. Each household is allowed a maximum 12 cords of firewood per year. Permits are good through March 31, 2019.