WILLIAMS LAKE - During these cold autumn nights, people often light their wood stoves or fireplaces to keep warm. But do they know where their firewood came from? Was it legally harvested?
Cutting down trees on Crown land without the appropriate permit and then selling the firewood is a problem throughout British Columbia. This activity is illegal and could result in a violation ticket or fine. It could also create safety hazards for the public, recreationalists and other forest users, and negatively affect the area's ecosystems - including fish and wildlife habitats.
The public can do its part by purchasing firewood only from legitimate producers selling wood from either private land or authorized Crown land harvesting tenures. Anyone buying firewood should ask where the firewood comes from (Crown land or private land) and ask for a record of purchase.
- For firewood harvested on private land, the buyer should ask the seller for the district lot number and timber mark number.
- For firewood harvested on Crown land, legitimate commercial firewood producers should have a "Forestry Licence to Cut" document signed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations district manager (with an approved timber mark).
Firewood that is bought or sold without proper documentation can be seized and removed by Natural Resource Officers.
Anyone who would like to cut firewood on vacant Crown land for personal use can obtain a firewood permit by contacting the Cariboo-Chilcotin District Office at 120 - 640 Borland St., Williams Lake. They can also obtain an application form online at: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/dcc/#second
Public Relations Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource OperationsD