A previously closed area in Taos Canyon has been opened for harvesting of dead and down trees through the end of the year.
According to the Camino Real District of the Carson National Forest, the Bull Springs unit of the La Jara Project Area in Taos Canyon is approximately 446 acres, with Douglas fir, spruce, aspen and true fir being the predominant species.
Ponderosa pine and trees being inhabited by cavity-nesting birds cannot be harvested, as they protect wildlife habitat.
A dead-and-down permit is required to harvest wood from the area. Wood permits cost $20 for five cords of wood or $40 for 10 cords. Permits expire on Dec. 31, 2017.
The Bull Springs area is located approximately 18 miles east of Taos on the south side of U.S. 64 and is accessible at Palo Flechado Pass.
"Please try to access wood from existing roads as much as possible. However, if roads are wet, it would be best to collect your wood another day to avoid damaging roads and to minimize ruts," stated the Carson National Forest press release announcing the unit opening.
"When transporting wood be sure to possess your signed, original permit and display your removal tags that have been properly completed and punched out," it said.
"In order to keep livestock from entering the highway or fuelwood area, it is critical to keep the red gate off of Highway 64 closed at all times," the release said.
The project area had initially been opened following treatments in 2009 and 2010. But the Forest Service still needs to remove additional wood in order to follow through with prescribed fire activities.
More information is available by contacting the Carson National Forest Supervisor's Office in Taos at (575) 758-6200 or the Camino Real Ranger District in Peñasco at (575) 587-2255.