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 November 12, 2010

Environment

Firewood cutting permits benefit individuals, McCoy environment

People who cut firewood at Fort McCoy get relatively inexpensive material while helping the installation improve safety in its training areas and also improve plant diversity and growth.

Jim Kerkman, Fort McCoy forester, said the areas people may cut firewood at Fort McCoy are determined through consultation between the Integrated Training Area Management program and the installation’s forestry department.

Training areas with dead trees that could create unsafe conditions and could cause an impact to training are identified for firewood cutting, Kerkman said.

Permits are available to the public and are sold at the Permit Sales Office, building 2168, from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. weekdays.

A daily permit costs $10 and allows permit holders to cut and haul as many loads of firewood during daylight hours as they can.

A monthly permit costs $50 and is valid for a calendar month, for example, November, December, January, etc. This permit allows people to cut and haul firewood every day for that month.

Any vehicle/trailer smaller than a semi-trailer can be used, Kerkman said.

People cutting firewood at Fort McCoy also reduce their travel and hauling costs to and from their residences if they live in the surrounding communities, Kerkman said. Because Fort McCoy is in a quarantined zone for gypsy moths, any firewood cut at Fort McCoy can’t be taken to counties not in the quarantined zone, such as La Crosse, Jackson and Vernon counties.

The firewood can be taken to counties east of Fort McCoy, which also are in the quarantined area, he said.

The state of Wisconsin also has rules about the movement of firewood to prevent the spreading of diseases and insects, such as oak wilt and emerald ash borer.

“Removing this wood makes it safer for Soldiers using the area by reducing the chances trees can fall on Soldiers or equipment or having dead trees create vehicle barriers and tripping hazards, and helps promote training,” Kerkman said.

People who cut firewood at Fort McCoy must follow the same regulations that hunters and anglers follow, Kerkman said.
This includes checking the GAME line (608-388-4263) to ensure training isn’t going on in the area. If an area has active training, it is closed to other uses, he added.

For more information about the program, call the Permit Sales Office at 608-388-3337.

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