Gallatin National Forest Firewood Permits Available; Beware of Bringing Home Mountain Pine Beetles

Release Date: Apr 1, 2011  

Contact(s): Andi Falsetto, 406-657-6205 x217

Gallatin National Forest Logo

Bozeman, MT – Personal use firewood permits for this year will be available for purchase on April 1. Permits are available at all Gallatin National Forest Ranger District Offices and at the following private vendors:

Owenhouse Ace Hardware and Sportsman’s Warehouse in Bozeman,

Lee & Dad’s Grocery and True Value Hardware in Belgrade, and

Gateway Exxon in Gallatin Gateway.

The price for a cord of firewood is $6.25 per cord, with a minimum purchase of four (4) cords for a total minimum permit cost of $25.00. Permits are valid from April 1 through March 31. A maximum of 12 cords may be purchased per year. A cord measures 4’ wide by 4’ high in an 8’ long stack.

Only standing dead trees with no green needles or fallen trees are available under the permit. All wood removed from the forest must be cut to a maximum length of 6 feet or less. Check with the local ranger station before cutting firewood for any special local cutting restrictions or requirements and make sure you have an updated motorized vehicle use map. Woodcutters must have their permit with them while removing wood; they must also have an approved and maintained spark arrester on chainsaws and splitters, a shovel, and a fire extinguisher.

Lodgepole and ponderosa pine may contain mountain pine beetles that could kill other pine trees near your house if brought home. You can reduce this risk by only cutting trees dead for more than one year. A general rule of thumb when gathering firewood is that a dead pine tree with no needles left on the branches is empty of mountain pine beetles. Trees cut in the early spring and summer that died last year with brown needles still attached likely have young beetles under the bark ready to emerge. Waiting later in the summer to cut your wood helps. By mid-August the beetles have emerged and left their dead host.

For further information on firewood permits, please contact your local Forest Service office. For more information on the Gallatin National Forest, visit our website at

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