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For Release: Thursday, May 2, 2013

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Now Accepting Bids for Firewood in Chenango and Madison Counties

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting bids from homeowners to cut firewood on state forests in Chenango and Madison counties. Due to the increased demand for firewood, sales will only be offered through a sealed bid auction and not by lottery. Unlike past years, there is no need to sign up in advance to participate in the bid process.

All firewood for sale is standing, live trees located off-road and will require a chainsaw, tractor and cart or a 4-wheel drive truck for cutting, access and hauling. The trees available for cutting are marked by DEC foresters. This is done to ensure that the only wood removed is done for conservation and habitat reasons. Removal of marked trees improves forest health and the growing stock of understory trees and vegetation.

Bid applications are available for firewood in state forests in the following towns: Afton, Brookfield, Coventry, DeRuyter, Georgetown, German, Guilford, Lebanon, McDonough, Nelson, New Berlin, North Norwich, Otselic, Oxford, Pharsalia, Pitcher, Plymouth, Smithville, Smyrna.

Bid sheets are available on DEC's website or from DEC's Sherburne office (Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and will be accepted until 2 pm on May 17, 2013. Maps depicting the location of each lot are also available online. Minimum bids for each lot are listed on the bid sheet.

Persons may bid on as many firewood lots as they wish; however, any person or group who is the high bidder on multiple lots will only be awarded one lot for firewood cutting purposes. Cutting and removal of firewood may begin as soon as a contract is executed, typically the end of May. After a homeowner is notified that they are the high bidder, they need to execute the contract and make payment by June 3 or the lot is offered to the next highest bidder. All firewood must be cut and removed by September 16, 2013.

In an effort to prevent the spread of invasive insect species, such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Long-horned Beetle, state regulations prohibit moving firewood that has not been heat treated more than 50 miles. Persons completing bid sheets under this program may transport cut trees no more than 50 miles from where the wood is felled. They also must complete a "Self-Issued Certificate for Transport" form and carry it with them when transporting the wood. For more information on firewood movement restrictions visit DEC's website or call 1-866-640-0652 or e-mail.

Any person operating a chainsaw for any purpose while cutting firewood is required to wear Personal Protective Equipment including at least the following: hard hat, eye protection, hearing protection and cut-resistant chaps or pants. Chainsaws must be equipped with properly functioning safety devices including a chain brake. One should not apply if you do not have access to this equipment. Other firewood sales rules are available when one applies for a bid sheet as well as on DEC's website.

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