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County eyes forest fees, logging revenue

Harvesting firewood in the county forest will cost more next year.
The county currently charges a $10 permit for up to five pulp cords of firewood and $25 a ton for pine boughs collected. As of Jan. 1, 2016, the fee will go up to $20 for firewood and $50 for bough permits with the same quantity limits.
The increase was suggested at the Feb. 6 county forestry committee as a way to generate more revenue as the county looks at ways to close a projected budget gap. According to county forester Russ Aszmann, about 35 people a year get firewood permits and 10 get bough permits.
Supervisor Dave Bizer noted those collecting on county forest lands had basically only their “sweat equity” as far as expense of collecting and hauling out the wood. He noted while there was still a lot of work in collecting the firewood — which is primarily done by hand — $25 for a pulp cord of wood is still a good deal compared to the going price of $65 for a face cord of cut firewood.

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