Firewood cutting permits available soon



NCW Woodcutting permits are now available to local woodcutters in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Permits went sale on most districts starting May 3. 


Naches Ranger District sgtarted processing online woodcutting permit requests on April 26 and permits were effective starting May 1 for this district only. Requests will be processed early to help reduce delays due to the high demand for permits that occurs on that district. Online requests for the Naches District can be submitted at .


Our offices remain closed in a continued effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, so the process to buy a woodcutting permit will be similar to the process we had in 2020,” Forest Supervisor Kristin Bail said. “People will need to purchase them over the phone, or via the online request form for Naches District, and not in person.”


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 from each ranger district is 12 cords per household per year.


Woodcutting is an important part of how public lands support local communities,” Bail said. “We understand the importance of firewood in heating local homes, and so those who need wood for that purpose will be able to do so. We still strongly encourage people to practice social distancing while obtaining firewood.”


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


Ranger Districts                            Phone Numbers

Chelan Ranger District                   509-682-4900

Cle Elum Ranger District                509-852-1010 or 509-852-1011

Entiat Ranger District                      509-784-4700

Methow Valley Ranger District       509-996-4000

Naches Ranger District                   509-653-1401

Wenatchee River Ranger District   509-548-2550

Forest Headquarters Office             509-664-9200


In the Winthrop area, local vendors will also be selling woodcutting permits; contact the Methow Valley Ranger District office for vendor information.


Firewood Permit Requirements

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 is not. Woodcutting is not allowed in congressionally designated Wilderness areas.


Things to keep in mind when woodcutting:

·      Firewood obtained is intended for personal use only and not for resale.

·      Permits must be purchased via phone or from vendors. Individuals will need to provide their name, address, phone number, credit card or debit card number, and driver’s license number when buying a permit.

·      Do not 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.

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

·      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 wildfire danger.

·      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 will be provided free with 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 is available at the IFPL website at, or call your local ranger district office.


Requirements Specific to the Naches Ranger District

Firewood permit requirements for the Naches Ranger District are different from the rest of the forest. Firewood cutting season on this district begins on May 1 and ends on September 30. Please be aware, roads 1902, 1904, 1920 and 1921 in the Little Naches area are closed to firewood gathering until further notice as logging operations have not finished in those areas due to weather conditions. Also, normal firewood removal conditions apply with an exception that will allow for the removal of green windblown trees that fell this past winter blocking access on Forest Service (FS) roads and are not within a riparian reserve in both open and closed woodcutting areas on the Naches District. Only the green windblown trees that fell across FS roads and are blocking driving access may be removed. The entire tree may be cut and removed for firewood by individuals possessing a valid firewood permit and load tags. Any windblown trees that are green and do not block FS roads shall be left in place and are not allowed to be removed as firewood on the Naches District. Pieces over 8 inches in diameter must be split to allow for curing and drying. Contact the Naches Ranger District at 509-653-1401 for more information.




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