Forest Products Permits
Plumas National Forest Firewood Program
The Plumas National Forest personal and commercial firewood program is an important program for the forest and local communities. It contributes towards fuel reduction efforts and also provides a cost-effective heat source for homes with wood-burning heat.
Personal & Commercial Use Firewood Regulations
Personal Use Firewood on the Plumas National Forest is free with a permit and tags for up to 10 cords per calendar year. One cord is the amount of tightly piled wood in a stack four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long (128 cubic feet). Woodcutters must also have a copy of the woodcutting regulations and a firewood cutting map in their possession when cutting.
Permits, tags, maps and the regulations are available at Beckwourth, Feather River and Mount Hough Ranger District offices during business hours.
Commercial Use Firewood permits are available for purchase. The Commercial Firewood permits and tags are required when the woodcutter intends to sell, trade or exchange firewood.
No green trees may be cut for commercial or personal use.
It is the responsibility of the woodcutter to obtain the Woodcutting Status each day prior to cutting by calling 1-800-847-7766. Chainsaw use may be restricted or prohibited depending on daily fire restrictions.
Firewood Regulations & Woodcutting Maps:
Personal and Commercial Use Firewood Regulations: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/plumas/passes-permits/?cid=stelprdb5422456.
Maps: Plumas NF Woodcutting Map (Front - 1.35mb - pdf) and Plumas NF Woodcutting Map (Back - 1.53mb - pdf).
Maps on Avenza (Free):
For more information regarding the Plumas National Forest firewood cutting program, please contact your local Plumas National Forest Ranger District office.
Where Woodcutting is Permitted
Generally, the permit authorizes felling of dead trees within 100 feet of a National Forest System road or trail designated for wheeled motor vehicle use and removal of dead or down wood from the Plumas National Forest except:
- Areas closed to woodcutting as shown on the attached Woodcutting Map or posted as "Cutting Prohibited";
- Active commercial timber harvest or other commercial operations;
- Forest Service recreation sites, trailheads, or Wild & Scenic River areas;
- Dead trees or logs that are designated with paint or official Forest Service signs;
- Within 200 feet of a railroad or transmission line;
- Felling of hardwoods (dead or alive) on the Beckwourth Ranger District. Cutting live trees is prohibited.
In addition, cutting or removal of wood from private land is not allowed. It is the woodcutter's responsibility to determine land ownership.
Chainsaws will be equipped with an approved spark arrester and are subject to inspection by a Forest Officer. An approved fire extinguisher or round point shovel (overall length not less than 46 inches) should be located within 25 feet of chainsaw operations or when using any type of portable gas-powered equipment. Chainsaw use may be restricted or prohibited depending on daily fire restrictions.
Motor Vehicle Use:
Woodcutters who are actively engaged in loading cut firewood may drive 100 feet off a National Forest System road or trail designated for wheeled motor vehicle use on the current Plumas National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map. This permit does not authorize off road motor vehicle use to scout or look for firewood material or driving beyond 100 feet off a designated National Forest System road or trail.
Motorized vehicle use off of National Forest System roads or trails is governed by the Forest Off-Highway Vehicle policy, existing Forest closure orders, existing road closures, or any Forest fire restrictions.
It is the woodcutter's responsibility to determine if and when they are allowed to drive off designated roads and trails to retrieve cut firewood. When driving off road, woodcutters must not damage or unreasonably disturb the land, wildlife, or vegetation resources. Please be aware of any Forest fire restrictions and exercise caution when driving and parking your vehicle on or near dry vegetation.
Differences in Forest Woodcutting Policies:
Plumas National Forest woodcutting permits may only be used on allowable lands within the Plumas National Forest boundaries. It is the woodcutter’s responsibility to ensure they are cutting in allowable lands within the Forest.
For information on woodcutting or other permitted activities on the Lassen or Tahoe National Forests, please contact their offices.
Firewood Tags & Transporting Cut Firewood:
Woodcutters must have the permit, load tags, Plumas National Forest Woodcutting Regulations and map in their possession during cutting and transporting wood. Personal use firewood permits are restricted to a maximum of 10 cords per household during the calendar year.
Each load tag represents 1/4 cord of wood. Using an ink pen, the permittee is required to fill out the product quantity removal record on the permit with the date, time, and quantity removed prior to transporting your wood in order for the firewood tags to be valid. Each load tag must have the date and time of departure punched, must be securely attached to the load, and must be clearly visible from the rear of the vehicle. Required documents must be available for review at the request of a Forest Service, CalFire, State or Federal Law Enforcement Officer.
Christmas tree cutting is a fun holiday tradition for many families. The Plumas National Forest sells Christmas tree permits annually between November 1 and December 24. Permits are $10 and are only good for the year that they are purchased.
How to Purchase Your Christmas Tree Permit
In-Person: The Beckwourth, Feather River and Mount Hough Ranger District offices are selling Christmas tree permits in-person during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Offices may be closed between noon and 1 p.m. for lunch break, or in case of illness or staffing shortages. It is advised to call the office to confirm availability of permits and hours. Special office huors for Christmas tree permit sales will be shared on the Forest's homepage and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas/.
Online: Christmas Tree cutting permits are available at Recreation.gov for $10 each, plus a service fee. Visit www.recreation.gov/tree-permits/plumas to purchase a Christmas tree permit. It is important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Visitors will need to set up or login to a Recreation.gov account to complete the transaction, as well as print a copy of the permit and place it on the dashboard of the vehicle transporting the tree from Forest to residence after cutting. Cutting area maps are provided via links for downloading.
Mail-In & Vendors: The Plumas National Forest is not offering mail-in purchase of Christmas tree permits or vendor sales at this time.
Christmas Tree Cutting
The permit authorizes the cutting and removal of one Christmas tree only from Plumas National Forest Lands. Your permit and map must be in your possession when cutting your Christmas tree. Please remember:
- Trees less than 6 inches diameter (measured at ground level) may be cut. Stump heights should be less than 12 inches tall and there should be no live branches remaining on the stump.
- The permit must be attached to the tree when it is removed. The permit must be attached to the main stem of the tree between the limbs and sealed in such a way that it must be broken to be removed from the tree. The permit is null and void when the seal is broken or when the permit is torn. Be sure to attach the permit to the tree before leaving the cutting area to avoid citations and penalties.
- The Christmas tree cutting map is part of the permit. It is the responsibility of the permittee to cut in areas where Christmas tree cutting is permitted. Christmas tree cutting is prohibited on all private property and in Wilderness areas, Wild and Scenic River areas, Recreation areas, Research Natural Areas, and special interest areas as shown on the map. See the Plumas National Forest Wood Cutting and Christmas Tree Map - Plumas NF Woodcutting Map (Front - 1.35mb - pdf ) and Plumas NF Woodcutting Map (Back - 1.53mb - pdf) and the Plumas National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map. Plumas National Forest permits do not authorize Christmas tree cutting on other ownership lands as shown on the map or on other National Forests.
For a successful Christmas tree trip, bring a saw, rope or tie-downs and a tarp. Ensure the tree is properly secured to the vehicle before leaving the Forest. It is generally advised for the trunk to be forward if on top of the vehicle to minimize broken branches and needle loss on the trip home.
Weather in the Sierra Nevada mountains can be unpredictable and widely variable during fall and winter months. Plan accordingly, including monitoring weather conditions, road closures and that cutting areas are still accessible and not snowed in. Use caution traveling on Forest and area roads, especially following storms. Avoid recently burned areas during and immediately after storms and wind events.
Make sure to have a full tank of gas, carry tire chains, and tell someone where you are going, the routes you plan to take and when you plan to be back before heading out to get a Christmas tree. Bring plenty of clothing layers, including warm, dry clothing, and shoes or boots with good tread. Also, bring plenty of food, water and supplies. Cellphone service is limited and in some places not available in the Forest.
Being prepared for conditions and sharing where you are going and when you will be back is essential to make sure someone can call for help to get to you and you can be comfortable while waiting for assistance if you get stuck.
For More Information
- Contact local Ranger Districts for more information about road conditions and cutting areas.
Other Forest Product Permits
Call local Ranger District for other forest product permit information.