Rural communities in New Mexico benefit from BLM online fuelwood permits

A firewood permit area in Taos, New Mexico.

In July 2019, the BLM New Mexico Rio Puerco Field Office and Taos Field Office were two of five BLM field offices in the nation to expand accessibility to fuelwood sales by piloting a program to sell these permits over the Internet.

Based on the success of the pilot, Internet sales were expanded to the Farmington Field Office this year. This effort has been a great help to those living in rural communities who are now able to get a wood permit online without having to travel great distances to the nearest BLM field office, saving them time and money.

“I am pleased that rural communities are able to take advantage of the online wood permit option,” said Steve Wells, Acting BLM New Mexico State Director. “It’s great when the Bureau can help make life a little easier for the American people.”

The wood cut from the BLM-managed lands in these areas is often used by locals, tribal members, and land grant communities as a main source of home heating and cooking. Recognizing that many folks in rural communities do not have access to the Internet and a printer, permits can still be purchased in-person at BLM offices in Albuquerque, Farmington, Socorro, and Roswell, and by phone from the BLM office in Taos.

In almost all BLM New Mexico field offices, fuelwood permits are valid for cutting only dead (down or standing) piñon and juniper (cedar) trees. Cutting green trees or other trees not allowed by permit is strictly prohibited.

Minimum and maximum cords for purchase and the cost of the wood permit (between $10 and $20 per cord) varies by field office and rules, regulations, and timing vary slightly and are based on local market conditions and customs.

BLM New Mexico plans to continue offering online wood permits and looks forward to assisting those who rely on the program for years to come.

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