Forest Products Permits

Fuel Wood Permits

You are allowed to gather down and dead wood on the national forest after you obtain a Fuel Wood Permit from a District Office. Wood gathered under this permit is for personal use only and cannot be resold.

Permits cost $20.00 and are good for one year from date of issue. The permit allows you to gather 6 cords of wood from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

To purchase a permit, you will need to know the year, make, model, color, license plate number, state of issue, and size of truck bed of the vehicle that you will be using to gather fuel wood.

Contact your nearest  District Office for infomation about obtaining a permit. Please note that these permits are not available at the Forest Supervisor's Office in Roanoke, VA.  

You may also purchase a permit via mail. Print and mail the Wood Permit Form to your nearest District office.

Frequently Asked Questions and Directions for Gathering Wood 

Directions for Gathering Wood on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

Please sign and return one copy of the permit to the ranger district office that issued it.

Where can I gather wood on the forest?

Wood can be gathered anywhere on the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests EXCEPT:

  • Recreation Areas
  • Wilderness Areas
  • Marked Timber Sale Areas

Where can I drive my vehicle to get the wood?

Vehicles can only be operated on open roads. Cross country driving is prohibited.

How much wood can be gathered?

You are permitted to gather SIX cords of wood

How much is six cords?

  • 12 loads in a truck with an 8-foot long bed.
  • 18 loads in a truck with a 6-foot long bed.
  • 24 loads in a mini-pickup truck.

Other things to keep in mind

  • Display your permit on your dashboard while gathering wood.
  • Make sure you are not on private land. Private land holdings are common within national forest
    areas. The boundary between private and public land is normally a three-foot corridor with marked trees on each side. Private land is behind ONE red blaze. National forest land is behind TWO red blazes.
  • Check page 3 of the permit for other restrictions specific to the ranger district you are cutting on.

Other Forest Products

Collecting any portion of the American ginseng plant for personal or commercial use from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests is prohibited. 
Ginseng populations have declined over the last several decades in Virginia due to continued harvest of the plant for consumption and sale. Ginseng is a listed as a threatened species in the state of Virginia through the Endangered Plant and Insect Species Act.  The management plan for the Jefferson National Forest prohibits issuing permits for the collection of a threatened or locally rare species, making ginseng harvest prohibited. The management plan for the George Washington National Forest specifically prohibits the harvest of ginseng.  Removing any portion of the ginseng plant from the national forest comes with strict penalties, including a fine of up to $5,000, six months in jail or both. 


Please contact your nearest District Office for information about other forest products.