Park Sells Firewood from Thinning Project

Bryce Canyon Firewood Project

Bryce Canyon Firewood Project

In the last two years, Bryce Canyon National Park has completed numerous fuels reduction projects to reduce the stand density of ponderosa pine and return the forest to a more natural state, while also reducing the risk to park infrastructure. These projects resulted in a large amount of woody material that would normally be piled and burned under favorable weather conditions.  Bryce Canyon managers though, came up with a somewhat unique and effective way to dispose of the wood; selling it at low cost to the local public through a lottery system.    

Park firefighters cut the previously thinned material, mostly ponderosa pine, into firewood sized pieces to make things more convenient for the public. Some of the wood was then hauled near park roads for ease of access.  The public was not allowed to use chainsaws in the park during their wood collection and their vehicle had to stay on park roads. Thanks to the hard work of the firefighters, all the public had to do was load their vehicles with the firewood.  A news release was issued letting the public know about the firewood.                                                                                                                  
Approximately 28 cords of firewood were sold at $25.00 per cord. While profiting from the sale and distribution of resources in a national park is prohibited, these funds instead would be going towards volunteer needs and projects to improve and protect park ecosystems. One of the added benefits of contributing to the local community through the firewood lottery is the reduced impact from long duration prescribed or wildland fires now that the fuel load is less. Another unique aspect of this program was that a local Boy Scout group collected numerous cords of firewood and distributed it to local elderly individuals who were not albe to collect it themselves.   

The process of mechanical thinning and firewood distribution that fire managers used will reduce the risks from wildland fire and help perpetuate the natural and cultural resource values for which Bryce Canyon National Park was established