If you live near Rocky Mountain National Park, and need some firewood for the coming winter, you just might want to enter the park's lottery for wood permits.
The firewood is already cut and simply needs to be picked up. It comes from hazardous trees that crews took down in various spots around the park. Officials want to have the wood moved out of the park by Halloween, and some of those who land a permit can head to Rocky Mountain on September 15 to get their load.
Firewood collection times will vary based on location of firewood. Most locations will not allow collection on weekends or holidays. A $20 non-refundable administrative fee will be charged for removing up to five cords of firewood on the east side and $10 for up to five cords of firewood on the west side.
Up to 17 permits will be issued on the east side of the park and 20 on the west side.
Firewood collection sites vary and will be provided to lottery winners when they pick up their permit. In most areas the firewood has already been cut into lengths that are manageable and can be loaded into pickup trucks. Some areas will allow trailers and chainsaw use and others will not.
To sign up for the lottery for a firewood permit please email the following information to ROMO_Firewood@nps.gov by Monday, September 13 at 10:00 p.m. Mountain time.
* Physical Address
* Phone Number
* First and second choice preference as to the east or west side of the park; if you do not have a second choice preference please indicate that.
Winners will be given their first choice preference in order selected. However, it is expected that east side permits will go first. Names selected for the lottery will be posted on the park’s website on Wednesday morning, September 15, at http://www.nps.gov/romo/parknews/lottery_results_firewood_permits.htm
Lottery winners can obtain permits in person at the Backcountry Office adjacent to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center near Estes Park or at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center north of Grand Lake beginning September 15.
Permits will be issued daily from 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Payment must be made with cash in the exact amount or a personal check. Wood is primarily lodgepole pine but may include some Douglas-fir, spruce, Ponderosa pine and aspen.
Some of the wood was previously inhabited with mountain pine beetles but enough time should have elapsed to allow the beetles to exit the wood.
Permit holders will be authorized non-fee entry into the park for purposes of wood collection.