Cutting firewood on DNR-managed state trust lands

Wood gathering on state trust land
Some state trust lands are open for personal fire wood gathering at timber harvest sites but only with advance permission from DNR. Note: the many safety precautions in this sort-of-candid photo: fire extinguisher, shovel, gloves, safety glasses, ear protection, spark arrestor for the chainsaw. Photo: DNR

People often ask DNR if they can cut their own firewood on forested state trust lands. Generally, we provide places for the public to cut firewood from downed wood, or slash, following timber harvests. Unfortunately, several factors are reducing these opportunities.

We allow firewood cutting only when a trust lands timber harvest area has enough leftover down wood or slash to make it worthwhile for you to go all the way out there. Timber harvesting has decreased during the current recession, so there are fewer sites to find this left-behind wood.

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 habitat — a key component of our State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan.

And finally, the commercial timber harvesters buying trust lands timber use more of the branches and stumps these days, so there’s less left for people to gather for firewood.

Save this DNR woodcutting permit web page. We update it when opportunities become available. It also has instructions for where and what to cut.

Some of the National Forests in Washington may allow firewood gathering for personal use. Contact the district office for where you want to gather the wood. Major National Forests in Washington state are the Colville, Gifford Pinchot, Okanogan-Wenatchee, Olympic, and  Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie. And there’s also the Bureau Land Management which provides permits at its offices in Spokane  and Wenatchee .