Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
The Directorate of Public Works is selling firewood permits for $25 per half cord — four-feet-high by two-feet-deep by eight-feet-long.
“It is equivalent to about a full-size pickup truck bed load,” said Neil Bass, DPW natural resources specialist.
All permit-holders are required to cut the wood themselves. Wood piles are on the east end of Chief Joseph Loop at Sherman Army Airfield.
“(Cutting the wood) can be done on site, or they can cut big chunks and take it to some other location to do that as well. It is all on the honor system,” Bass said. “It is a violation to take firewood off post without a permit because it is considered government property.”
Currently, several different types of wood are available, including locust, cedar, elm, oak, pine, hickory and ash, and the pieces vary in size.
“We’re only selling already downed trees. No one is going out and cutting them down,” Bass said. “There is no Paul Bunyan stuff going on.”
Former Rod and Gun Club Vice President Fishing Coordinator Bill Gevedon said he has been purchasing firewood on post for more than 15 years.
“I use the firewood in my home fireplace, not really as a source of heat, but more of the fact that I like the smell and sound of a wood-burning fireplace,” Gevedon said. “The Fort Leavenworth process works well for me. I have my own pickup and chainsaws.
“I only use oak and hickory and am limited to logs that are 45-48 inches in diameter,” he said. “I am in my 70s and am a cancer survivor, so I don’t cut big loads anymore, but I enjoy being outside and playing with my chainsaws.”
While firewood has been available on post to purchase for years, it has become potentially even more available with the grant Fort Leavenworth received from the Department of Defense Natural Resources Program’s Forestry Reserve account in 2016, which helped with the restoration of the floodplain trail, Bass said.
“It did open up the availability of more timber for our firewood,” Bass said, “and those trails are multi-use for other things like horseback riding, hiking and running.”
Other trees being used for the firewood include those cut down for development purposes or due to disease. An example are ash trees infected by emerald ash borer. By using the diseased trees for firewood, Bass said it can keep the emerald ash borer from spreading.
“One of the big deals on preventing the spread of emerald ash borer is not moving wood around a lot,” Bass said. “One of the nice things about if you’re buying wood from here on Fort Leavenworth, you’re not then transporting wood from different areas and possibly transporting emerald ash borer or some other invasive species.”
All money earned from the sale of permits goes into the Forestry Reserve Account, which is used by forestry programs across the Army.
“Any DoD facility that participates in the forestry program, regardless of the size, can ask for forestry reserve account money (for projects),” Bass said.
For more information or to purchase a firewood permit, call Bass at 684-8979 or stop by the DPW office on the corner of McClellan and McPherson Avenues.