Applications now available for annual firewood lottery

Applications now are being accepted for the state’s annual forest firewood lottery. Applications will be accepted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) until Feb. 2, 2015, with the results of the lottery posted on the DEEP forestry website by March 18.

Standing trees and downed wood residual from storms and timber harvests will be sold to randomly chosen lottery winners via a permit in designated two-cord lots for $60. These permits will be issued from the late spring through October 2015 by DEEP foresters as gravel forest road conditions allow.

Applications may be downloaded and more information may be found at the DEEP forestry‘s website (State Lands Firewood Program):

People also can call the DEEP at 860-424-3630.

Firewood program in state forests

The annual firewood lottery offers Connecticut homeowners an opportunity to enjoy the state forests in a unique way by providing a renewable, affordable and locally grown heating fuel source.

Firewood harvesting from state forests helps achieve sustainable forestry and wildlife habitat management goals as well as offering a fun physical activity for families.

The removal of any firewood from a state forest requires a permit. In addition, personal protective equipment must be worn while cutting wood. This includes a hard hat, eye protection, hearing protection, and cut-resistant chaps or pants. Chainsaws have to be equipped with properly functioning safety devices, including a chain brake.

Transporting restrictions

DEEP reminds residents not to move firewood long distances as this poses a risk of spreading harmful wood boring insects that can kill live trees.

Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven and Litchfield counties are currently quarantined due to the presence of the emerald ash borer. This quarantine prohibits the transport of firewood from these counties to eastern Connecticut unless treated and permitted by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.