Out of the woods

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:55

    Sussex county — Those who are looking to stock up for winter firewood still have time to do so at High Point and Stokes Forest state parks this fall. Each spring and fall, the parks allow residents to bring in their trucks and chain saws to collect wood that has already been downed or have been marked for cutting by forest managers. The fee is $20 and the parks are open for wood gathering from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday during October. Beginning Nov. 1 and lasting until the first snow or ice in High Point, wood cutters can come seven days a week. At Stokes, the wood-gathering season ends on Dec. 15. At that forest, woodis $20 a cord. The program attracts patrons from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. It is not available to commercial firewood dealers. "Just for safety reasons, you have to have one other person with you," a spokesperson for Stokes said. The entrance to High Point is off Route 23 on the Wantage-Montague border. Stokes State Forest adjoins High Point to the south in Sandyston and is accessible via Route 206 and Sunrise Mountain Road. "They come to the park office and get their permit," said a High Point spokeswoman in explaining the program. "It's gotten more popular as time goes on." The permit allows the purchaser to gather wood for either two full days or four half days. An additional permit may be needed for additional time in the forest. "It's the time span that's important," the spokeswoman explained. "We'd like you to tell us ahead of time what you're going to do. (And) as long as they can pay, they can keep getting all they want. But it's not for resale. It's for them to use in their homes. "A lot of people travel for a lot of miles," the High Point spokeswoman concluded. "The ones who have been doing this are the ones who have been doing it for years. They come every year." Further information is available by calling High Point at (973) 875-4800 or Stokes at (973) 948-3820.