Shutdown extends local firewood cutting season

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PENDLETON — Due to the recent government shutdown, firewood cutting season on the Umatilla National Forest has been extended to the end of November.

“Firewood season typically ends Nov. 15, but because the weather has been favorable and permits weren’t available for purchase during the government shutdown, we felt the extension made sense,” Kevin Martin, forest supervisor, said in a release.

People are asked to take additional precautions when road and soil conditions become soggy and saturated. Mountain travel will require extreme care to avoid getting stuck or causing damage to the land and vegetation.

Another concern for late season firewood cutting is the misidentification of live or dead western larch, also known as Tamarack. Larch is the only cone-bearing tree in the western United States that sheds its needles in the fall and can appear to be dead. Tips on identifying live larch are located in the firewood guide that accompanies each firewood permit.

Firewood permits can be purchased at any Umatilla National Forest office or at several local businesses in the community. Permits cost $5 per cord with a minimum purchase of four cords for $20. A maximum purchase of 12 cords total, per household, is allowed from national forest lands during the calendar year.

Information is available at (541) 278-3716 or on the Internet at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/.

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