Gathering Firewood on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests

Personal firewood cutting is free to the public, but a free hard-copy use permit is required.

How do I get a permit?

  • To obtain a free, personal use permit, simply visit your nearest ranger district office or the supervisor's office in Coeur d'Alene. A representative will ask you for some basic, identifying information, then issue you a permit. 
  • Here is a list of our office locations and phone numbers

The Basics

  • Personal firewood cutting photograph of stacked firewoodis free in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.
  • A free hard-copy permit is required for firewood and other forest products.
  • Woodcutters can take up to 12 cords of firewood for personal use. A cord is the amount of tightly piled wood in a stack four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long.
  • Personal use firewood cutting allows you to remove downed timber or to cut standing dead trees in allowed areas.
  • Contact the local ranger district to see if there are any specific local restrictions or requirements other than those listed below.

Where Can I Cut?

Check with your nearest Forest Service office to find out if there are areas specifically designated for firewood cutting. Several districts have preferred firewood cutting areas and certain areas closed to firewood cutting, shown on these PDF maps:

If the district doesn't list preferred areas, you can cut anywhere on the Forest with the following exceptions:
  • Firewood gathering is prohibited within 150-feet of any running stream.
  • Private Property: Privately owned lands within the National Forests are often marked by signs and fences. Look at your Forest map to be sure you are not cutting on private land.
  • Timber Sales: Timber sales are usually marked with a sign or painted trees. Please don't cut anything in these areas.

Protect Riparian Areas

What Can I Cut?

Measuring and Hauling Firewood

The Best Firewood

Chainsaw and Fire Safety