Correction: The version of this story that appeared in the Aug. 31 editon of The Taos News incorectly stated the first day of lottery sign-ups. They are Sept. 11.
The Carson National Forest is using a lottery system to offer free fuelwood from Canjilón Lakes following a yearlong effort to thin the forest of dense and diseased trees.
About 80 percent of the mature spruce, fir and aspen trees have died in the remote Río Arriba County recreation spot north of Abiquiú over the past several years.
Free use fuelwood permits will be issued through a public lottery drawing, with each household allowed up to five cords of wood, according to a U.S. Forest Service press release.
Those wishing to enter the lottery must apply in person at the Canjilón Ranger Station during from Sept. 11-28, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The process for distributing permits in this special fuelwood area is in line with usual procedures, according to Carson National Forest spokesperson Denise Ottaviano.
“The wood has been decked in piles along the road for easy access and to eliminate the need for fuelwood gatherers to drive off of paved roads,” the release said.
Permits will be distributed for eight separate five-day increments, or “rounds.” The first round opens Oct. 6 and the last round ends Nov. 14.
People can select their top three preferred rounds, though the Forest Service cannot guarantee any member of the public will be selected for their preferred round. The lottery will take place Sept. 29.
Contact the Canjilón Ranger District at (575) 684-2489 for more information.
The rounds are:
Round 1, October 6 - October 10
Round 2, October 11 - October 15
Round 3, October 16 - October 20
Round 4, October 21 - October 25
Round 5, October 26 - October 30
Round 6, October 31 - November 4
Round 7, November 5 - November 9
Round 8, November 10 - November 14