Firewood Permit, Firewood Permits

A firewood permit is an excellent way to find firewood for your wood burning needs. It's inexpensive and works great if you prefer to save money by cutting your own firewood but don't have any land of your own with firewood trees.

How do they work?

Normally permits are issued by government agencies with public land. Typically this includes National Parks, State Parks and other government owned land and parks.

These agencies offer the permits for several reasons: to reduce combustible material in their parks (thereby reducing the chance for wildfires), adding an additional revenue stream for their parks, and to fully utilize public land for its best management and benefit the people that live in the area.

You simply contact the agency that offers permits and they will allow you to cut/harvest firewood in certain areas for a given price. Usually the price is pretty low, significantly lower than normal firewood prices. Anywhere between $5-$20 for a cord seems to pretty pretty standard in the United States.

Common Restrictions

I hate to break it to you, but normally these permits come with restrictions. Hey, you can't always have your cake and eat it too! Here are some common restrictions that are imposed by these agencies when issuing a firewood permit:

  • Harvesting is only allowed in certain areas. Often times these areas have close access to roads or paths.

  • You can only harvest wood that is already dead or downed. This certainly isn't always the case, but it's a pretty common restriction.

  • Firewood harvesting is only allowed for personal use. If you have a firewood business and plan on selling the firewood that you harvest, you're probably out of luck.

  • Size and species restrictions are common when harvesting live trees. This will vary based upon the park, but it's important to know before applying for a permit.

Make sure that you get all the necessary information from an agency before applying for a permit. You don't want to get out to a park expecting to harvest hardwoods and find out that you can only take pine. You could be stopped in the process, or even worse, get hit with a fine.

Sounds great, what's the first step?

The first step would be to search for local public land and contact the government agency that manages it. From there you should be able to find out all necessary information to get started.

Keep in mind that some chainsaw work will probably be necessary. Even if you are only allowed to harvest dead wood, you will at least need to cut it to appropriate lengths to get it out of the woods.

If you need some help on processing firewood, be sure to check out my How to Cut Firewood Article before getting started.

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