DEP'S LOW-COST FIREWOOD PROGRAM EXPANDED TO
BYRNE STATE FOREST AND PARVIN STATE PARK
(11/P7) TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection's Homeowners Firewood Program, which provides low-cost wood to the public and improves forest health, will expand this winter to Brendan T. Byrne State Forest in Woodland Township and Parvin State Park in Pittsgrove, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The program, run by the DEP's Division of Parks and Forestry, will now be available in seven State parks and forests throughout New Jersey.
Initiated in 1973, the program was created to offer inexpensive firewood to residents and provide them with an outdoor recreation opportunity while helping the Division of Parks and Forestry meet forestry management objectives by eliminating dead and unhealthy trees.
"This is a good, common sense program that helps maintain the health of our forests while providing affordable firewood to our residents," said Commissioner Martin. "It's a smart program that's a win for everyone involved.''
"Wood is one of the most abundant and useful natural resources on earth. But to sustain this renewable natural resource, it must be managed with proven regeneration methods,'' added State Forester Lynn Fleming. "These methods include harvesting mature, diseased and hazard trees in our State parks and forests, which this program helps accomplish."
The Division of Parks and Forestry received federal stimulus money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which has been used this winter to hire a logging service to cut down dead, dying and hazardous trees at Brendan T. Byrne State Forest and Parvin State Park. Many of those trees had been ravaged by gypsy moths, said Fleming.
Those logging efforts have removed hazard trees in forested areas in portions of those two sites that are regularly accessed by the public, including along roadways and at recreational sites, such as picnic areas, cabin and camping sites and interpretive centers.
State residents can seek permits to cut up and cart away as much as six cords of the felled trees at Brendan T. Byrne State Forest and Parvin State Park, for $20 a cord, said Fleming.
It will take a lot more work to come away with targeted wood at five other State parks and forests that have long been part of this program, including High Point State Park and Stokes State Forest in northern New Jersey, and Bass River State Park, Belleplain State Forest and Wharton State Forest in southern New Jersey. At those sites, residents must bring chainsaws to cut down specifically marked trees in designated areas of the forests.
(The Belleplain State Forest wood allotments, however, already are sold out.)
At those five parks and forests, residents are responsible for cutting and removing their own firewood. There is a limit of two cords per person at those five sites, for $20 per cord, while supplies last.
Those interested in participating at Brendan T. Byrne State Forest must call (609) 296-1114 on weekdays to register for a two-day permit. To participate at Parvin State Park, call (856) 358-8616. Permits also may be obtained in person at Bass River State Forest (for Brendan T. Byrne State Forest) and Parvin State Park administrative offices.
For more information on this program and all seven participating sites, visit: www.njparksandforests.org
For a Homeowners Firewood Application Form: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/docs/homeowners_firewood_application_form_2010-2011_fillable1.pdf
For a Homeowners Firewood Information Sheet:
For Tips on Safely Burning Firewood in an Environmentally Proper Manner, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2010/10_0146.htm