With the weather set to turn colder, many North Coast residents will be stocking up on firewood for the winter months ahead and as they prepare to head off into the woods, the Province of British Columbia is reminding them of the regulations in place when it comes to accessing wood on Crown land.
British Columbians can access a free use permit for their travels, which allows for the collection and transport of firewood from eligible Crown land, as long as it is for personal use.
The Natural Resources ministry watches over the harvest and they offer up a few things to know prior to that first cut in the woods.
There is no charge for the wood that is collected under a Free Use Permit for Firewood.
However, the applicant must: read and understand the conditions of the permit prior to signing it (the permit must be signed and dated by the person who is collecting the firewood); carry the permit at all times while collecting or transporting firewood; and produce the permit at the request of a natural resource officer, conservation officer or peace officer.
The also note that it is important for applicants to confirm that the wood they intend to cut or collect is on Crown land and not on private land or that of First Nations reserve.
Prince Rupert and the North Coast are included as part of the Skeena district.
You can access maps that outline each district in the province here.
The online permit for Skeena-Stikine is available here
Towards those themes they advise:
Only buying firewood from legitimate producers who sell wood obtained either on private land or through 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 that has been harvested on private land, the buyer should ask the seller for the district lot number and timber mark number.
For firewood that has been harvested on Crown land, legitimate commercial firewood producers should have a Forestry Licence to Cut document signed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
You can learn more about the province's notes on the topic here.
For more on Provincial government initiatives see our Legislature archive page.