A judge has lifted a ban on permits for gathering firewood on national forests in New Mexico, just a couple of weeks after halting all timber management and saying the federal government needed to do more to protect the Mexican spotted owl.
As cold weather approaches, many New Mexicans depend on firewood from national forests to heat their homes. Under the initial ruling, this was prohibited.
Now that the judge has narrowed the timber management ban to exclude personal use, people can resume collecting their firewood. People who sell firewood for income cannot.
Prescribed burns and forest thinning are also on hold until further notice.
The Bureau of Land Management is also offering its own personal use firewood permits that allow the collection of dead trees for fuel.