Land grant heirs seek waiver of Carson firewood fees
TAOS, N.M. (AP) - Land grant heirs are asking the Carson
National Forest to waive fees for collecting firewood from downed
and dead trees.
The residents said in the petition delivered to the Carson
National Forest's Taos office in June that the Treaty of
Guadalupe-Hidalgo "guaranteed our use on a pro bono basis of these
forest community land grant resources."
More than 180 El Rito residents have signed petitions asking the
Carson to stop charging the fees. The Carson charges $20 for five
cords of wood.
"Used to be we had a right to collect the wood for free," said
Jose E. Ocana, a board member of the Juan Jose Lobato Land Grant in
northern Rio Arriba County.
Ocana said the petition is based on a 1946 agreement in which
the U.S. secretary of agriculture turned over management of 65,336
acres of the land grant to the Forest Service. The original 1894
land grant was for 205,615 acres.