BURBANK, Wash. --
Free firewood is available to the general public at several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-managed recreation areas near Ice Harbor Lock and Dam, officials at the Corps’ Walla Walla District announced, today.
Every year, in an effort to keep parks safe for public use, the Tri-Rivers Natural Resources Management Office maintenance team identifies large trees, that pose a potential falling hazard because of age or disease, and removes them prior to reopening the parks to visitors.
This year, rather than hauling away the downed trees for off-site disposal, the Corps is offering the wood for public use.
“Given the recent cold spell in the region, it’s likely there are people out there needing to restock their wood supply,” said Greg Watson, Tri-Rivers NRM assistant manager. “The free-firewood program is a great way to do that.”
Effective immediately, woodcutters 18-years and older can apply for a permit, and make arrangements to access the parks to gather the wood. The permit allows for two additional helpers over age 18 to accompany the permit applicant. Permit applicants will need to present photo identification, according to Walla Walla District officials.
The free-firewood program will be available until all the wood is gone, or until early May, when NRM staff need to begin preparing the parks for seasonal visitors and campers.
Permit holders will be allowed to cut logs on site for loading into their vehicles. Safety equipment like boots, gloves, chaps, goggles and hearing protection will be required.
Some rules apply to this free-firewood program: 1) Safety equipment must be used while cutting on project, and 2) wood cannot be sold or used for commercial purposes. Other applicable rules will be reviewed with the permittee and listed on the permit.
For more information about getting a permit to gather free firewood, or to learn more, please contact the Tri-Rivers Natural Resources Management Office by calling 509-547-2048. If there is no immediate answer, callers should leave a message including their name and phone number, so a park ranger can return their call.
Park rangers encourage visitors to “like” and “follow” Ice Harbor Lock and Dam on Facebook for breaking-news and public-access announcements at www.facebook.com/iceharbordam.