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January 8, 2011

DEC accepting applications for homeowner firewood lottery

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting applications from homeowners to cut firewood on state forests in Chenango and Madison counties.

Due to increased demand, firewood will be offered through a sealed bid auction and by lottery, according to a media release from the DEC. Lottery firewood will be available in volumes of three, five and 10 standard cords for $15 per cord and is limited to 10 cords per household. Auction firewood will be sold to the highest bidder and is also limited to a maximum of 10 cords. A standard cord is a pile of wood measuring 4-by-4-by-8 feet when cut and stacked.

All firewood for sale is standing, live trees located off-road and will require a chain saw, tractor and cart, or a four-wheel drive truck for cutting, access and hauling. The trees available for cutting are marked by DEC foresters. This is done to ensure that the only wood removed is for conservation and habitat reasons.

In an effort to prevent the spread of invasive insect species such as the Emerald ash borer and the Asian long-horned beetle, state regulations prohibit moving firewood that has not been heat treated more than 50 miles. Those who apply to cut firewood under this program may transport cut trees no more than 50 miles from where the wood is felled. They also must complete a "Self-Issued Certificate for Transport," form (available from and carry it with them when transporting the wood. For more information on firewood movement restrictions, visi:, call (866) 640-0652 or e-mail

Firewood applications are available from DEC's Sherburne office and will be accepted until March 4. In addition to the name, address and phone number of the person requesting firewood, completed applications must include the number of cords requested and the area where the applicant prefers to cut firewood. Home firewood contracts will expire on Sept. 12.

For applications and additional information on the homeowner firewood program, call the DEC in Sherburne for Chenango and Madison counties at 674-4017.

Anyone operating a chain saw for any purpose while cutting firewood is required to wear personal protective equipment, including at least the following: hard hat, eye protection, hearing protection and cut-resistant chaps or pants. Chain saws must be equipped with properly functioning safety devices including a chain brake. Applicants must have access to this equipment, according to the release.

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