Firewood cutting permits available now available

Wenatchee -  Firewood cutting permits went on sale at all Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offices on May 1. Even though firewood cutting permits have been available for purchase since April 1 at the Tonasket Ranger District office, most woodcutting areas have been inaccessible due to snow and wet conditions.

“Woodcutting is an important part of how public lands support local communities,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor Erick Walker. “This is a great opportunity for families and friends to enjoy the national forest while also obtaining firewood for use in their homes.”

The minimum firewood permit is $20 for four cords of wood. The cost for permits over the four-cord minimum is $5 per cord. The maximum number of cords that may be purchased for personal-use is 12 cords per household per year.

Things to keep in mind when woodcutting:
Contact local ranger district office for up-to-date road conditions.

Do not drive off of roads onto wet or snowy ground to load firewood.

Don’t travel on roads if road surfaces are slippery and muddy, let them dry out before traveling on them. This will prevent deep ruts from developing.

The best time to cut firewood is in the late spring and early fall; avoid mid to late summer as woodcutting restrictions may be imposed due to severe fire danger.

Permits must be purchased in person, no permits will be sold through the mail. Individuals purchasing woodcutting permits need to present a driver’s license or other form of picture identification at the time of purchase.

Woodcutters need to abide by the terms and conditions listed on their woodcutting permit. Be sure to read over all conditions and requirements listed on the woodcutting permit and be familiar with the information on the map.

A woodcutting area map is a necessity. These maps show the areas that are open and closed to woodcutting and are available free with the woodcutting permits.

Always be aware of the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) on the day that woodcutting will occur. Information on the IFPL or current restrictions may be obtained by viewing the IFPL website at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ifpl, calling 509-884-3473 or your local ranger district office.

Special woodcutting rules and conditions apply on the Naches Ranger District; contact their office at 509-653-1401 for specific information. Firewood cutting season on the Naches Ranger District ends on September 30. Also, the maximum number of cords that may be purchased for personal-use from the Naches District is 10 cords per household per year.

Generally, woodcutters may cut wood lying on the forest floor and standing dead trees, except wildlife habitat trees. Be aware that western larch, also known as tamarack, drops its needles and may look dead, but isn’t. No woodcutting is allowed in congressionally designated Wilderness areas.

Firewood permits are good through December 31 in the calendar year they are purchased, with the exception of the Naches District, or until areas are no longer accessible. For more information, please contact your local ranger district office. Most of these offices are open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Ranger district office addresses and phone numbers: Okanogan Valley Office
1240 South Second Ave., Okanogan, WA 98840; 509-826-3275; Tonasket Ranger District, 1 W. Winesap, Tonasket, WA 98855; 509-486-2186; Methow Valley Ranger District, 24 West Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA, 98862; 509-996-4000; Chelan Ranger District, 428 W. Woodin Ave., Chelan WA 98816; 509-682-4900; Entiat Ranger District, 2108 Entiat Way, Entiat, WA 98822; 509-784-4700; Wenatchee River Ranger District, 600 Sherbourne, Leavenworth, WA 98826; 509-548-2550 Cle Elum Ranger District, 803 W. 2nd Street, Cle Elum, WA 98922; 509-852-1100; Naches Ranger District, 10237 Hwy. 12, Naches, WA 98937; 509-653-1401 and Forest Headquarters office, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, WA 98801; 509-664-9200

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