National Forest Firewood Cutting Permits Available April 27

Woodcutting permits will soon be available to local woodcutters in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Permits go on sale April 27, 2020 so that people can start using their new permits beginning May 1.

“In an effort to continue to curb the spread of COVID-19, the process to buy a woodcutting permit will be a bit different this year,” Forest Supervisor Kristin Bail said. “People will need to purchase them over the phone and not in person, thus the delay between the date we start selling permits and when they go into effect.”  [*In the Winthrop area, local vendors will also be selling woodcutting permits]

The minimum firewood permit is $20 for four cords of wood. The cost for permits over the four-cord minimum is $5 per cord; people may purchase up to 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. But we still strongly encourage people to postpone woodcutting if possible to alleviate strain on rural communities until the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order has been lifted, and then to practice social distancing while obtaining firewood.”

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.

Firewood permits are good through December 31* in the calendar year they are purchased, with the exception of 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.

*Special woodcutting rules and conditions apply on the Naches Ranger District. See below

  • Chelan Ranger District -- 509-682-4900
  • Cle Elum Ranger District  -- 509-852-1071
  • 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.

Special woodcutting rules and conditions apply on the Naches Ranger District
Firewood cutting season on the Naches District begins on May 1 and ends on September 30. In addition, the maximum number of cords that may be purchased for personal-use from the Naches District is 12 cords per household per year.

Woodcutting on the Naches Ranger District is a bit different than on other districts on the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF.

This year on the Naches District, the 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 wood cutting areas.

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.

Large trees across road


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. 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 by calling 509-884-3473 or your local ranger district office.

Chainsaw cutting firewood


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