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Thread: Obtaining firewood

  1. #1
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    Default Obtaining firewood

    I gather from several threads that obtaining sufficient firewood each year is a challenge.
    Is it possible to obtain wood from other than ones own property or other private property one has permission to harvest firewood on?
    Can you get a firewood gathering permit for public lands or are there public land areas where this is permitted?

  2. #2

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    We get a permit from the Mat-Su borough some years I think the state will issue permits also don't know about the feds you probably have to go to what ever Dept. is in charge of the land around. I can usually get about a cord an acre from my own land from just cutting culls.
    Chuck

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    We obtain a wood cutting permit and my husband plugs our trailer onto his truck and we load our friend's bobcat on the trailer. We search an area and cut in that area as much as our permit allows for and we usually load it on to our trailer and cut the remainder of it on our property after we unload it.
    We have 2 different cutting areas that we have been able to get some good wood out of. One area is up Chena Hot Springs Road which is literally down the road from us. The other area is between Fairbanks and Nenana somewhere passed Skinny Dicks. The better quality wood has always been on the Fairbanks/Nenana split run so we try to get majority of our wood there.

    The wood permits depend on who you go to in the area.
    10 cord from the state.
    20 cord from the borough.
    You can get wood permits from BLM.
    The state building is the Department of Natural Resources (DNR Bldg) and it's around University and Airport. You can access them from either road. It's across from Quiznos and across from the Mt. McKinley Bank and old Fred Meyer.

    Let us know how it pans out. This time of year, it's harder to get wood. We usually get most of our wood in the summer time, but we are running into the same thing you are running into. It's about time for us to get some wood, too.
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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Kim,

    What do you normally burn? What is the most commonly available type you burn?

    Ron

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    That's interesting and good to know how people go about obtaining firewood.

    I have wondered about that for some time after searching many small properties for sale and noticing what little timber is on smaller parcels.

    Right now me wife, daughter and I live in Florida after 14 years in Montana. I'm burned out on the boom boxes, big government, and crowding here in Florida. I have been toying with the idea of moving to Alaska and it is very helpful to put it all into perspective with the information on this board.

    Thanks for the feedback

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    In south central you can cut standing and fallen dead in certain areas of the Chugach Forest. Check the forest website and call for locations. There are some restrictions on how far from the road you are supposed to cut, but basically they just don't want you making a mess with the slash or dropping trees on the road.

    I try and cut a cord or two each fall for suplimental heating.

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    Kim,

    What do you normally burn? What is the most commonly available type you burn?

    Ron
    That's a really good question.
    This is our first year with the wood boiler system. We had about 4 cords already cut before winter set in. We knew we were going to have to get more, but the snow came during moose season this year and we didn't have enough time at the very end of summer to get and cut more wood. There was sheep hunting and moose hunting we had to take into consideration.

    We started our wood boiler system about the first week of October. We just ran out of wood about 5 days ago.
    This means that we had almost 8 weeks of heating with the boiler system with 4 cord so that equals about 1 cord every 2 weeks.

    It looks as if for the next 5 months, I may need 10 more cords of wood.
    When we originally decided on this heating alternative, someone here on ODD suggested that I would need at least 17 cords of wood to be able to make it through the winter and it looks as if they were absolutely right. If I am correct, the gentleman was from Delta Junction and he also has our same system.

    We shut down heating to the hangar and only heated our downstairs unfinished area which includes our laundry room and our upstairs living area which is about 1300sq/ft. We kept it at about 68 degrees. Why so high? I have instruments that I need to keep warm regularly for my business. If I had the temperature set for lower, I am positive that we would have spent less on wood. What's also tricky is that we kept the heat up downstairs so that we can complete it as quickly as we could and also so that I could keep up on laundry. Because I am not doing my business downstairs right now, we have saved on energy and heating by closing off the zone valves for downstairs.

    Last thing:
    Spruce. Spruce has been the best thing to burn in our wood boiler. Honestly, green has been really good, too. As soon as we get our boiler to a certain temp (160 degrees F) we start putting in green wood because it takes longer to heat up and burn.
    The bad wood would be the cottonwood. That wood is worthless.

    That's the best answer that I could give you.
    I hope that it answered your question.
    Lurker.

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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Kim,

    In your boiler you don't worry about creasalt buildup?

    Ron

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    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    I don't know about boilers, but cottonwood can be burned in a wood stove if it is completely dry. You won't get many BTUs out of it, but as long as it is really dry, you won't creosote up. Its best to mix it with spruce or birch if you can just because you'll get more heat that way. I burn mixed loads of birch, spruce, cottonwood, and aspen in my stove, and haven't had any creosote issues. This is the first winter with the new Blaze King, but it seems to be doing fine as well.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Creosote is not a big issue in the outdoor wood boilers. Mine gets hot enough for long enough during the day that it burns it right out. Birch, by far, works best in my system. I tried a load of spruce and it lasted only 60% of the time that birch did. The only thing it did better was heat up faster. My unit devours unsplit birch up to 15" in diameter. You just have to make sure there are LOTS of coals in the unit if you put that big of wood in it.

    I'm heating 10,000 sq ft with an average ceiling height of 14' at 1 cord a week right now. It hasn't been REALLY cold yet, so that might go up a bit.

    I get my wood off of private property developments. Driveways, roads, etc. You just have to be fast and ready to roll. When a dirt contractor wants wood gone today, he means today.

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    We haven't had issues with creosote in our system to my knowledge.
    Yeah... no issues. I'll ask my husband, though, to get his take on it as well because if we had issues with it, I would have asked him not to install it or just take it out, even after what we have paid for it.
    All in all, if my husband has no concerns with it, we probably don't have issues with creosote build up.
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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    My husband and I discussed this pretty indepth a couple of nights ago.
    He said that as long as we clean our stack and change out one portion of it, that it would be fine. The portion of the stack is the one that combines our old system and our new system (new system being the wood boiler). There is a 'Y' and he said that the wood boiler side of the 'Y' is what we will replace come summer time. He said that's where the most build up occurs. This year, we put a really cheap portion of stack on it knowing that we were going to replace it again this summer.
    I am probably guessing that we will replace that yearly when we do our stack cleaning.
    I hope that answers your question on creosote build up and how we deal or are planning on dealing with it.
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