Personal Use Fuelwood Cutting Permits

Pickup hauling fuelwood

A fuelwood cutting permit and load tickets are required to cut, gather, and transport fuelwood on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The fuelwood cutting season is from May 1 to November 30.  Beginning May 1, 2022, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest will offer free personal-use firewood permits, with a limit of 10 cords per household, per year.

2022 News Release

2021 Fuelwood Guide


Where to Get a Permit

Fuelwood cutting permits are available from local vendors (listed below) and National Forest offices in Baker City, Halfway, La Grande, and Joseph.  A processing fee of up to $2 per transaction may be charged when obtaining the permits from local businesses. Commercial-use firewood permits will also be available at the regular fee of $10 per cord with a minimum 2 cord permit. Please call the individual National Forest office to find out when and how permits are available for purchase. 

Local Permit Vendors

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

Hometown Hardware, 206 S. Main Street, Union, OR 97883, (541) 562-5472

Island City Market and Deli, 10101 W 1st Street, Island City, OR 97850, (541) 963-7140   

Miller’s Home Center, 3109 May Lane, La Grande, OR 97850, (541) 963-3113


Permit Cost

Free personal-use firewood permits are available with a limit of 10 cords per household, per year. Those requiring more than ten cords or want to harvest fuelwood to sell, may purchase a commercial fuelwood permit for $10.00 per cord ($20.00 minimum permit) at National Forest offices. When requesting a permit, please have at least a 4-mile area in mind as your permit area.

Where to Cut  

Not all lands on the National Forest are open to fuelwood cutting. Please consult the fuelwood maps in the links below to be sure you are in an area where cutting is permitted. Remember that not all land within the Forest is publicly owned. It is your responsibility to be certain you are not trespassing on private land. The permit is for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest lands only, and not for State, BLM, or private lands.   

Baker Area Fuelwood Map

La Grande East Area Fuelwood Map

La Grande West Area Fuelwood Map

Pine Area Fuelwood Map

Unity Area Fuelwood Map

Wallowa Valley/Eagle Cap Area Fuelwood Map


Areas Excluded from Fuelwood Cutting

  • Posted Areas (Designated Old Growth Areas, etc.)
  • Wilderness Areas
  • Developed campgrounds, picnic areas, trail heads, administrative sites such as guard stations and cabins
  • Administrative Sites, timber sale cutting units, or other posted contract areas
  • Wild and Scenic North Powder River Corridor
  • Wild and Scenic Snake River Corridor
  • Wild and Scenic Eagle Creek Corridor
  • Wild and Scenic North Fork John Day Corridor
  • Wild and Scenic Imnaha River Corridor
  • Native Vegetation Areas on the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Research Natural Areas
  • Starkey Experimental Forest
  • Designated Scenic Byways
  • Baker City and La Grande Watersheds
  • Spring Creek Winter Range Area
  • Within 100 feet of either side of the entire length of the Forest Road 39 (Wallowa Mountain Loop Road)
  • National Forest lands adjacent to the Sumpter/Granite Highway: Baker County Road 520 from McCully Forks to Granite Summit; and, Grant County Raod 24 from Granite Summit to the town of Granite
  • National Forest lands adjacent to Anthony Lakes Highway State Highway 1146 and Forest Road 7300 from the North Powder River Bridge and Anthony Lakes Ski Area
  • Additional restricted sites indicated on fuelwood cutting maps

Do not cut trees with signs, tags, or paint.   


Stump Diameter, Height, and Species Limitations  

Dead or down trees less than 24 inches across the stump may be cut and removed for fuelwood. When cutting down a dead tree, the remaining standing stump should be no more than 12 inches high. No standing or down ponderosa pine are to be cut or removed.  For identification information on the logs and trees in this area see US Forest Service Field Guide for the Identification of Snags and Logs in the Interior Columbia River Basin

 Do not cut any live trees!

Identifying Tree Cadmium


How to Tell if the Tree is Dead  

Trees without any green needles may still be alive. Western Larch (tamarack) loses its needles in the fall and is still a live tree. A wind blown tree may take several months or years to die. Do not cut the tree if it has any green needles and/or the inner bark, called  the cambium, is green, wet, spongy, or light in color. To test a questionable dead tree before it is cut: peel away a small section of the bark and examine the thin cambium layer between the bark and  the wood. A dead tree has no green needles and the cambium is dry and is a dark color.  


Hauling Restrictions  

Logs larger than six inches in diameter on the large end may not be hauled in lengths over eight feet. Smaller material has no length restrictions.


Validating the Load Ticket

After loading the fuelwood, completely remove the month and day on the colored load ticket, corresponding with the date the fuelwood is being removed.  On the back of the load, firmly staple, nail, or tack one ticket for each 1/2 cord being transported. All load tickets must be clearly visible.  


What is a Cord of Fuelwood?   

One cord of fuelwood (stacked) measures four feet tall by four feet deep by eight feet long (4x4x8) which equals 128 cubic feet and weighs approximately 2,662 pounds. The average half-ton pickup can carry one-half of a cord of dry wood without overloading the vehicle. Remember to validate the fuelwood load tickets before leaving the cutting area.

How to estimate the amount of firewood being transported.


Fire requirements & restrictions  

To provide consistency and less confusion, fuelwood permittees will follow the same system as commercial operations and will be affected by Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL).

Level I – 1 hour fire watch after completing chainsaw activities.

Level II – Partial Hootowl – no internal combustion engine operation between the hours of 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM and a 1 hour fire watch.

Level III – Partial Shutdown – no internal combustion engine operation (No Fuelwood Cutting)

Level IV – no internal combustion engine operation (No Fuelwood Cutting)

During fire season, IFPL levels can be found at:

During periods of high fire danger, restrictions that prohibit fuelwood cutting may be enacted. Contact the nearest National Forest office or call the following phone numbers for a recorded message with the current fire restrictions:

Baker City (541) 523-1234
La Grande (541) 962-8679
Joseph (541) 426-5552   

Fuelwood for Sale

Fuelwood cutters interested in selling fuelwood should contact any ranger district office for information on a commercial fuelwood sale or a Forest Product Sale Permit (also known as a commercial fuelwood permit).


Use of Permit by Another Party  

Permits are non-transferrable.

In very limited circumstances, when a person is not physically able to travel into the woods to collect and transport the fuelwood, a Fuelwood Assistance Permit may be issued to the person who will be cutting a transporting the fuelwood.  Both the person unable to travel and the person cutting and transporting the wood must appear together at a Forest Service office to explain their request when the permit is issued.  Both need to provide valid acceptable identification.

The physically limited person will need to provide documentation to confirm the address where the wood is to be transported is their current residence.

An individual cutting and transporting the wood is limited to one Fuelwood Assistance Permit per year.