CHENANGO COUNTY – With the high cost of fuel oil this winter, more and more households are turning to a more traditional method to heat their homes.
“With this energy crunch, people tend to show more of an interest in firewood,” said Rich Taber, who heads the Forestry Initiative Program at the Chenango County office of Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Taber said this creates a “golden opportunity” to introduce proper forest management techniques to local landowners. The correct method, he said, is to thin a forest by removing the lower quality wood. Part of his role is to assist property owners in making those decisions.
But not everyone interested in heating their homes in this fashion have the ability or desire to cut their own firewood. Taber has words of caution for people in that situation.
“Be careful where the firewood comes from,” he cautioned, explaining that buying wood from sources outside of the immediate area can be a risk to local forests.