Pilot program provides fuel wood to Boys & Girls Ranch

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State Land Commissioner Ray Powell has approved a pilot program to allow a limited distribution of firewood harvested on state trust land to people who are most in need of fuel for the winter.

Commissioner Powell earlier this month suspended the previous administration's Free Public Fuel Wood Program because it was both expensive and ineffective in getting wood to the most needy. Also, the previous program did not reduce fuel loads or protect the land.

"Reducing the risk of wildfire, improving forest heath, and helping the vulnerable members of our communities stay warm this winter is our goal." said Commissioner Powell. "If this pilot program is successful, our intent is to expand the program to other areas of the state in the future."

"We will be working with private contractors to cut the wood on state trust land in Santa Fe County near Edgewood, and young people from the Boys and Girls Ranch will be carrying, loading and transporting it to the Ranch in Socorro County for use this winter," said Powell.

As the State Land Office reinvents its public fuel wood program, wood remains available in all of the national forests (Carson, Cibola, Gila, Lincoln and Santa Fe). Rules vary by forest and fuel wood areas, so it is important to contact the local Ranger District for updated information and prices.