U.S. Forest Service unable to sell fuelwood permits

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – No more cutting firewood and no more thinning, at least for now in New Mexico’s National Forests. The Forest Service has to comply with a federal court order meant to protect an endangered species.

“I was driving out of the wood cutting area with a load of wood and a district forester was out there and stopped me,” says Alan Dupree.

The U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday, it is unable to sell fuelwood permits until further notice. This comes after a federal judged ordered a halt to all timber management activities in New Mexico National Forests. That includes all thinning projects, logging, and woodcutting for residents who depend on it to heat their homes.

“The agency is driving blind and permitting various thinning treatments with absolutely no understanding about their effect on the spotted owl,” says John Horning, Executive Director of WildEarth Guardians.