Passes & Permits

Personal Use Firewood Permits

Malheur National Forest Personal Use Firewood Program

Blue Mountain, Prairie City, and Emigrant Creek Ranger Districts

2021 Firewood Regulation Guide PDF Version (Complete Document)

          For current Public Use Restrictions across the forest please call:  541-575-3113. 

The Maximum Allowable Limit for Personal Use Firewood is 16 Cords per Household per Year.  Subject to fines if exceeded.

Definition of Household:  Household must be the physical address where the wood will be delivered to and all permits purchased under said physical address will be counted against the 16 cord limit.  If you are purchasing for a business you must use a business name and physical address of the business.

USE OF PERMIT BY THIRD PARTY:  If you will be authorizing another individual to cut and haul your firewood, you must obtain a waiver form, authorized by the Malheur National Forest.  The waiver form can be acquired at any Malheur National Forest office.

Minimum Purchase of $20.00 (4 cords) per Transaction.


Failure to abide by the terms and conditions of the personal use firewood permit and guide, in accordance to 36 CFR 261.01 (I), you may be fined for a varity of infractions leading to charges up to $5,000 and /or 5 years in prison.  All Forest Service land use laws can be found under 36 CFR 261.

LOAD TICKETS: For each ½ cord (or portion thereof) of firewood one (1) validated load ticket must be securely attached to the back of the load and be clearly visible.  The load ticket must be validated by cutting around and completely removing the month and day of firewood removal, prior to leaving the wood cutting site.

PRODUCT QUANTITY REMOVAL RECORD (located on front of permit):  Is required to be filled out identifying the date and amount in cords removed.

USE OF ROADS:  This permit is subject to the Malheur National Forest road closure/access management policy.  Road surfaces, ditches, drainage structures, and shoulders must not be blocked or damaged. Use of rubber tired vehicles on roads currently open to motorized vehicle use is authorized to load personal use firewood in lengths less than 8 feet provided use of said vehicle does not impede safe use of the road.  Traffic lookouts, signs, or flagging may be required to maintain safe use of the roadway.

STUMP HEIGHT:  Stump height shall be 12 inches or less, where the cutting of standing trees is allowed.

LOADING EQUIPMENT:  Firewood may be loaded off road by hand only or on roads currently open to motorized vehicles by hand or with rubber tired vehicles in lengths less than 8 feet, provided use of said vehicle does not impede safe use of the road.  Traffic lookouts, signs, or flagging may be required to maintain safe use of the roadway. 

This permit is subject to the Malheur National Forest road closure/access management policy.  Road surfaces, ditches, drainage structures, and shoulders must not be blocked or damaged.  Wood must be collected with due regard for the safety of forest users. 

SKIDDING EQUIPMENT:  Wood may be skidded with motor vehicles, log arch, or winches within 150 feet of open roads from open roads.

Open roads are those roads not closed by a sign, closed by a pole barricade, closed with a locked gate, or intentionally blocked/restricted by earthen berm, logs or boulders.  Off-Road access is only allowed in areas identified as open on the personal use firewood map.

The building of trails or roads in areas requiring green trees to be cut or cleared to allow the passage of motorized vehicles will not be allowed.

The equipment related to firewood collection will not be stored, cached, or left unattended for no longer than 24 hours on the Malheur National Forest, unless the permit holder is actively gathering firewood.  This does not apply to equipment that becomes inoperable or malfunctions.

Excessive damage due to firewood collection will be subject to the provisions in 36 CFR 261.9(a), Damaging any natural feature or other property of the United States.

BRUSH DISPOSAL:  Concurrent with cutting firewood, unused material will be removed from roads and ditches and piled (at least 10 feet from any tree that might be damaged by burning) in openings and clearings, scattered or disposed of as otherwise directed by the Forest Service.

PERMIT:  This permit, firewood guide, and Personal Use Firewood Map must be in possession of permittee or their authorized representative at all times when cutting or transporting firewood.  This permit may not be transferred or used by others.

PERMIT EXPIRATION:  This permit will expire on the date indicated, whether or not all firewood has been removed.

If you will be authorizing another individual to cut or haul your wood for you, be sure you and the individual you will be authorizing fill out an official permitee waiver form.


Know and practice the following regulations while harvesting firewood. Your cooperation is most appreciated.


  1.)   DEAD DOWN TREES:  Down trees, any species.


          a.  Any species, any size may be cut within 150 feet of an open road.

          b.  Any species, 20 inches or smaller at stump height, outside 150 feet of an open road.

          c.  Western larch, also known as Tamarack, may not be cut and removed between November 1 and April 30. 

    3.)   Juniper may be cut dead or alive. 

Wood may be hauled in lengths less than 8 feet, regardless of diameter.  Longer lengths may be available through District offices on appropriate special forest product  permits. 

WHAT IS A CORD OF FIREWOOD? One cord of firewood measures 4ft. X 4ft. X 8ft. which equals 128 cubic feet and weighs approximately 2,662 lbs. The average half-ton pickup can carry a 1/2 cord of dry wood without overloading the vehicle. Remember to validate the firewood load tickets before leaving the cutting area.


   1.)    Trees identified by signs, paint, tags or within posted timber sale.

   2.)    Trees within streamside buffers or other riparian areas such as streams, seeps, ponds and lakes.  Buffer will be considered 150 feet (150 feet each side of a stream.).

   3.)    Trees within an administrative site such as:  campgrounds, designated old growth stands, wilderness, research plots, wild and scenic corridors, and other ares requiring special prodetion. 

   4.)    Trees within county right of way adjacent to county roads within the Malheur National Forest without permit from County Road Master.

   5.)    For safety and to maintain a visual corridor, no trees may be cut within 150 feet of the following roads:  All U.S. Highways, State Highways, County Roads, forest Roads 1370, 15 (paved portion), 1520, 16, 1640, 17, 31, 36, 41, 43 and 47.  Portions of Forest Road 15 and 16 within the Parish Cabin Fire area are open to wood cutting iwth no off road vehicle travel within the fire area.

Don’t overload your truck with firewood.  Check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s weight restriction


   1.)    Completely remove the month and day on the colored load ticket corresponding with the day you are removing your firewood.

   2.)    Firmly staple, nail, or tack one ticket on the back of the load for each ½ cord or portion thereof, on the truck.

   3.)    All load tickets must be clearly visible.  Do not stack tickets on top of each other.


   -   Except for Juniper, it is illegal to cut and remove a live tree.  Even though a tree is down or standing without any green needles, it may still be alive.  Western larch (tamarack) sheds it needles every 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 alive (green, wet, spongy, light in color).  Remember a tree is still alive if the cambium is still green.  You may test a questionable dead tree before it is cut, by peeling away a small section of bark.  Examine the thin cambium layer between the bark and the wood.

   -   If the tree is dead it will not have any green needles and the cambium will be dark colored and dry.

When in doubt…. do not cut the tree.


IS A PERMIT REQUIRED: A firewood cutting permit and load tickets are required to cut, gather, and transport firewood on the Malheur National Forest.

COST: $5.00 per cord with a 4 cord or $20 minimum purchase. A maximum of 16 cords total per household is allowed during the calendar year.

INFORMATION NEEDED TO OBTAIN PERMIT: name, physical address, driver's license number, vehicle information (year, make, model, color, and license plate number of vehicle being used to haul firewood), in addition to number of cords to be purchased.

WHERE TO AQUIRE PERMIT: Firewood cutting permits are available at the Malheur National Forest Supervisors office, also at Prairie City Ranger District and Emigrant Creek Ranger District offices.

WHERE TO CUT WOOD: Not all lands on the National Forest are open to firewood cutting. Please consult the supplied firewood map 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 Malheur National Forest lands only, and not for State, or private lands.

FIRE REQUIREMENTS & RESTRICTIONS: Firewood cutters are required to have the following equipment while cutting and transporting firewood:

  • Saw: Exhaust system in good repair. Screen-type spark arrestor of 0.023" mesh or less, qualified under US Forest Service standards.

  • Shovel: Long-handled, round point with 8 inch blade.

  • Fire extinguisher: Charged with pressurized chemical. Not less than 8 oz. capacity by weight. Type AB.

  • Fire watch: A one-hour fire watch is required after shutting down the chainsaw.

During periods of high fire danger, restrictions that prohibit fuelwood cutting may be enacted.  Please call 541-575-3113 for current fire restrictions.

USE OF PERMIT BY THIRD PARTY: When a person is not physically able to collect the firewood for themselves, a third party permission form is available. It is necessary to the signed form before collecting firewood, the form must be kept with the permit, the permit must be with the individual cutting the wood. Contact your nearest Ranger District office for details.