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TGB Lowers Cost of Firewood Home Delivery for Elders; Increases Cost of Woodlot Permit Cards

By Joe Morey

News Editor


The LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) unanimously approved reinstating the cost of the firewood home delivery program for Elders from $500 for 10 cords down to $300, and for 5 cords down from $350 to $200. The cost of $500 and $350 would remain for all others.


They also voted unanimously to increase the woodcutting cost of 20 truckloads from $50 to $100.


At their meeting on Monday, August 22, the TGB took the action after a motion was made by Gary "Little Guy" Clause, seconded by Bill Trepanier, to make the changes in price for all tribal members living within the tribe's service area of Sawyer County.


Little Guy made the motions after a lengthy discussion with LCO Conservation Director Brian Bisonette, who told the TGB that their current woodlot counts wasn’t sustainable with the amount of wood cut each year and that they were taking bids to purchase 600 additional cords.


Bisonette recommended purchase of 600 cords at a cost of $54,000 that would be delivered in 100 cord increments.


He explained last year they sold 19 punch cards for the woodlot at $950, but went through 350 cords, and that it’s one of the most widely abused programs. He said each year Tribal Members are permitted to take cord loads of firewood for their home heating, but Bisonette and members of the TGB believe that there are some who are taking the wood and selling it off Reservation.


Bisonette said some cutters are not getting their cards punched, or utilizing other members’ cards or they are cutting after hours.


“We put up a fence but they are still going through,” Bisonette noted. “This is problematic.”


Bisonette made the recommendation of raising the permit cost. He said some of the guys who are abusing the program are making up to $1,500 off the wood they are cutting.


“We need to focus on our Elders and people who need to heat their homes, not on guys who want to make money,” Bisonette said.


Bisonette said the total cords the program will use this year is 380 cords in the woodcutting and 630 through the home delivery program. He explained to TGB that only 19 permit cards went through 380 cords.


TGB member Dave Bisonette suggested possibly eliminating the woodlot cards and make them also receive home delivery. He said with home delivery, we know the wood is going right to the Elders and not being sold off-reservation.


Brian Bisonette said there really isn’t any good solution and that the Tribe will lose money either way. He said raising the cost will mitigate the $32,000 cost to the Tribe a little bit, but not much.


The load is 10 cords and prior to delivery of the load from LCO Conservation, a receipt must be provided by the LCO Tribal Office Accounting Dept.


Application, copy of Tribal ID and Receipt or receipted copy of payroll deduction form must be turned in to the Conservation Department in order to be placed on the list. Tribal employees may do payroll deduction at $50 per week, once the deduction starts it cannot be stopped.


GUIDELINES:

*15 mile radius home delivery from reservation boundary

*Have your site prepped upon ordering to delivery, no low hanging branches and driveway must be wider than 9 feet.

*If your designated spot isn't accessible per our driver/hauler, he will place where he can. NO EXCEPTIONS!

*If there is an issue or conflict, contact our office and speak to the Conservation Director. Do not take it up with our driver/hauler.


Woodcutters must have a valid Woodlot Punch Card. Punch Cards are available to all LCO Tribal Members living in Sawyer County. There is a $50 fee to purchase a card, this fee must be paid at the Accounting Window at the Tribal Office. Then the form and receipt must be brought to LCO Conservation to receive the Punch Card.


Firewood must be your primary source of heat. Only ONE Punch Card allowed per household.


Woodcutters must check in at the LCO Conservation Office before entering the Woodlot.

The area is under surveillance. Please take your trash with you.


Tribal Members are allowed only one program, either Woodlot Card or Home Delivery.

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