Free personal-use firewood authorizations available on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest from May 1 through June 1, 2020

Contact(s): Travis Mason-Bushman


BAKER CITY, Ore. – Understanding that firewood is a primary heat source for many people, and this is a challenging economic time, Tom Montoya, Forest Supervisor of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, is authorizing free firewood for personal use. With a signed authorization form, up to 4 cords are available per adult from May 1 through June 1, 2020.

A future news release will provide information about standard personal-use firewood permits and commercial firewood permits. The National Forest intends to offer both in addition to the free personal-use authorizations.

To limit person-to-person interactions that can spread COVID-19, authorization forms can be obtained via email or at self-service tables in front of Wallowa-Whitman offices.

  • Email:  For an electronic authorization packet, please send an email to SM.FS.wwnf-webmail@usda.gov with the Subject: “Firewood Authorization.” Include your name and city of residence in your email, and National Forest staff will reply with an authorization form and 2020 firewood guide in PDF format. Note: Each woodcutter is responsible for printing the authorization form and the associated wood removal record. Both documents must be carried while cutting and transporting firewood, and the authorization form must be signed by the woodcutter.
  • Pick up at a National Forest office in Baker City, Halfway, La Grande, or Joseph:  For a pre-printed authorization packet, visit one of these four offices (addresses below) between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Find the self-service table near the front entrance. After selecting a packet (limit of one per adult), please write your name, city of residence, and authorization number on the sign-in sheet. Note: While using or waiting for the self-service station, please follow CDC health guidelines by keeping more than six feet from others and wearing a facemask. Consider bringing your own pen, hand sanitizer, and gloves. Wash your hands immediately before and after picking up a packet.

As another alternative, a woodcutter can visit a local participating business between May 1-15 to obtain an authorization packet. The woodcutter will need to provide her / his name and city of residence prior to receiving the packet. Participating businesses currently include:       

Burnt River Market, 304 Main Street, Unity, OR 97884, (541) 446-3660

D&B Supply, 3515 Pocahontas Road, Baker City, OR 97814, (541) 523-6442

Gold Post, 150 N. Mill Street, Sumpter, OR 97877, (541) 894-2362

Halfway Mercantile, 117 S. Main Street, Halfway, OR 97834, (541) 742-6171

Sports Corral, 401 Main Street, Joseph, OR 97846, (541) 432-4363

The Dollar Stretcher, 604 S. River St., Enterprise, OR 97828, (541) 426-5833

Federal and State law enforcement may ask woodcutters to show their authorization form and associated firewood removal record. The authorization form must be signed by the woodcutter, and the removal record must be filled out. Both documents must be carried by the woodcutter while cutting and transporting firewood. Woodcutters are also required to carry an axe, a shovel, an 8 oz. capacity or larger fire extinguisher, and have their chainsaw equipped with an approved spark arrester when cutting wood.

Wallowa-Whitman National Forest officials urge the public to plan ahead and contact their local Ranger District prior to starting their trip. Many Forest roads are still not accessible due to mud and snow. Further, traveling on wet roads and terrain can be dangerous and cause resource damage. At this time, all developed recreation sides – including campgrounds, trailhead facilities, picnic areas, rental cabins, Sno-Parks, and boat ramps – are temporarily closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Forest roads, trails, and general forest lands remain open to the public, but all visitors are strongly urged to practice social distancing.

For updated National Forest information and firewood cutting guidelines, please contact one of the Wallowa-Whitman offices listed below or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman.

Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Headquarters and Whitman Ranger District, 1550 Dewey Ave, Suite A, Baker City, OR 97814, (541) 523-6391

Whitman Ranger District Pine Field Office, 38470 Pine Town Lane, Halfway, OR 97834, (541) 742-7511

La Grande Ranger District, 3502 Highway 30, La Grande, OR 97850, (541) 962-8500

Wallowa Mountains Office, 201 East Second Street, Joseph, OR 97846, (541) 426-5546

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wallowa-whitman/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD730832