The BLM in New Mexico manages over two million acres of forest and woodland resources for a variety of uses, including the harvest of forest products. In addition to public and commercial fuelwood cutting, Christmas trees, fence posts, vigas, latillas and tepee poles are available depending on the time of year and each field office’s program. The BLM is committed to managing public lands in a responsible and sustainable manner in order to balance the needs of rural communities while protecting valuable woodland resources. In many communities in northern and western New Mexico harvesting firewood is important for winter heating as well as for Native American ceremonial use.
Designated harvest areas vary by BLM office and are often designed to restore forest health and improve wildlife habitat through selective tree thinning. For example, the removal of fuelwood is permitted at Guadalupe Mountain within the Wild Rivers Recreation area where thinning improved habitat and browse conditions for mule deer by increasing shrub and grass species. Other designated fuelwood collection areas implement hazardous fuels reduction projects near Wildland Urban Interface areas. Through active woodland management the BLM can achieve its goals of improved forest and rangeland health, reduced threat of wildfire, and restored wildlife habitat across the landscape.
Please check with individual field offices for specific fuelwood area information:
BLM Taos Field Office
Permits are available for sale from the BLM Taos Field Office as well as from the BLM Wild Rivers Recreation Area. Christmas tree permits are available for purchase beginning the Monday before Thanksgiving through December 24th.
The Taos Field Office is located at:
226 Cruz Alta Road
Taos, NM 87571
The Wild Rivers Recreation Area Visitor’s Center is located at:
1120 Cerro Road
Cerro, NM 87519
BLM Farmington Field Office
The BLM Farmington Field Office operates a dispersed fuelwood collection program in which permit purchasers may collect dead fuelwood throughout the field office with the exception of areas behind locked gates and in designated recreation areas. Permit purchasers may not drive off-road or drive cross-country to collect fuelwood.
Areas closed to fuelwood gathering include:
• Angel Peak Scenic Area
• Caracas Mesa Recreation\Wildlife Area
• Alien Run Mountain Bike Trail
• Dunes Off-Road Vehicle Recreation Area
• Glade Run Recreation Area
• Head Canyon Motocross Track
• Navajo Lake Horse Trail
• Negro Canyon Special Designated Area
• Piñon Mesa Recreation Area
• Rock Garden Recreation Area
• Simon Canyon Area of Critical Environmental Concern
• Thomas Canyon Recreation/Wildlife Area
Only dead-and-down or dead-and-standing piñon and juniper may be cut. Cutting of cottonwood, oak, ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir is prohibited. Permits are available for purchase from the BLM Farmington Field Office. Christmas tree permits are available for purchase beginning the Monday before Thanksgiving through December 24th.
The Farmington Field Office is located at:
6251 College Blvd. Suite A
Farmington, NM 87402
BLM Rio Puerco Field Office
Between April 1st and December 31st each year, designated areas are available for fuelwood harvesting. BLM fuelwood permits are available for purchase at our office or from the US Forest Service - Cuba Ranger District Office located at 04B County Road 11, Cuba, NM 87013 (phone: 575-289-3264). Christmas tree permits are occasionally available between November 15th and December 20th.
The Rio Puerco Field Office is located at:
435 Montano Road, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Some things to keep in mind when harvesting fuelwood on public land:
• Have your permit in your possession while engaging in any activity connected with the harvest or removal of fuelwood.
• Produce your permit for inspection upon demand by a BLM employee or any official of a cooperating law enforcement agency acting within his or her designated authority.
• Affix appropriate number of validated haul tags to fuelwood load while transporting. (See Validate and Use Haul Tags Correctly).
• Adhere to all instructional and regulatory signs posted on BLM lands.
You Must NOT:
• Destroy or injure any live tree.
• Take more fuelwood than the amount specified on your permit.
• Barter or sell fuelwood obtained with your permit. (Inquire about commercial fuelwood permits if you wish to barter or sell).
• Drive off-road.
• Disturb prehistoric sites, historic sites, and artifacts.
• Travel on roads or trails if soil conditions permit rutting in excess of six inches deep.
Validate and Use Haul Tags Correctly:
• Each haul tag is good for up to ½ cord of wood.
• One cord = 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet (128 cubic feet).
• Measure your load of wood to determine how many haul tags need to be affixed.
• To validate your tags, completely remove the day and month tabs from each haul tag needed.
• Securely attach all haul tags to the REAR of your load in a HIGHLY VISIBLE location.