Update: How to get permission to gather firewood on DNR-managed lands (and federal lands)

Wood gathering on state trust land

A limited number of permits for personal fire wood gathering at timber harvest sites are available from DNR. Photo: DNR

Getting a permit to gather firewood on DNR managed state trust lands: Updated 2012

People often ask DNR if they can cut their own firewood on the forested state trust lands we manage. Generally, we provide places for you to cut firewood from downed wood, or slash, following timber harvests. Unfortunately, we don’t have as many of these opportunities as you might think.

DNR allows firewood cutting only when a timber harvest area has enough leftover down wood or slash to make it worthwhile for you to go all the way out there. Many sites may have this left-behind wood but not enough for people to harvest for firewood.

Why do we insist on keeping some of this down wood around?

Because DNR manages forested state trust lands for habitat as well as revenue production, a certain amount of the snags, downed wood and stumps left after a timber harvest must remain for birds, mammals and other critters. Habitat management is a key component of our State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan.

Another factor limiting our supply is that the commercial timber harvesters who bid on trust lands timber are using more of the branches and stumps these days, so there’s less left behind to gather for firewood.

Check this web page to find out where DNR firewood gathering permits are still available. You’ll also find instructions for where and what to gather.

Some of the federal lands in Washington issue permits to gather firewood for personal use:

PS: It is a violation of state law to cut down trees or take firewood from state trust lands without permission from DNR.

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