Forest Products Permits

Collecting and removing products and materials from the forest requires a permit. Forest products include items such as firewood, Christmas trees, edible material (such as mushrooms), decorative material, minerals, plants, and other woody material.

Plumas National Forest Firewood Permits

The Plumas National Forest (NF) has a longstanding policy of allowing personal and commercial use firewood cutting and gathering from national forest lands.

Obtaining your Personal Use Firewood Permit:

The free personal woodcutting permit program has been extended through December 31, 2021. Permits and tags are required and will need to be acquired by email return correspondence (or by phone call with email return correspondence). Hard copy mailings of permit and tags is temporarily halted. Free-use permits dated April 30th will be accepted through December 31, 2021.

As a reminder, commercial fuelwood is not part of the free personal-use fuelwood permit program, and commercial permits must be purchased. Commercial-use fuel/firewood permits and tags are required when the fuel/firewood collector (cutter) intends to sell, trade or exchange fuel/firewood. No green trees may be cut for commercial or personal use.

Firewood permits include the firewood cutting regulations (permit conditions) along with firewood tags and a firewood cutting map of the forest.

To obtain your free personal-use firewood and tags:

1. FASTEST AND SAFEST OPTION: Download and save (to your computer) the Fuelwood Permit Request Form, fill it out, and email completed form to SM.FS.PNFFSProd@usda.gov. Put "Personal Firewood Permit" in the subject line.

2. Phone: Call your local District office phone number (these numbers are listed to left side of screen under Contact Information). If we don’t answer directly, there will be an opportunity to leave a voice message. When doing so, please speak slowly and clearly leaving your name and phone number so the operator can return your call. Calls should be returned within 1 business day. 

Once we receive your request, your permit package will be processed and emailed back. It may take one to two weeks to obtain a permit, depending on your request option; please plan accordingly.

Each free-use permit allows up to 4 cords. One cord is the amount of tightly piled wood in a stack four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long (128cuft). During this free-use period, only request the number of permits you can realistically collect now through December 31 as these permits expire on December 31, 2021. You may obtain multiple permits totaling up to a maximum of 12 cords of firewood for personal-use per calendar year.

These permits are only valid on Plumas National Forest lands open to fuelwood gathering [Plumas NF Woodcutting Map (Front - 1.35mb - pdf) and Plumas NF Woodcutting Map (Back - 1.53mb - pdf)].

For a more information regarding the Plumas NF firewood cutting policy, please contact your local Plumas NF Ranger District Offices.

Obtaining Your Commercial Use Firewood Permit

Commercial-use fuel/firewood permits and tags are required when the fuel/firewood collector (cutter) intends to sell, trade or exchange fuel/firewood.

All sales are currently conducted by telephone and mail as offices remain temporarily closed due to the Covid pandemic. Commercial fuel/firewood cutters may call Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9 AM to noon at 530-284-7126, 530-836-2575, or 530-283-0555. Permits will be sent through the US Postal Service, generally within one business day. Currently, this is the only process by which to purchase commercial permit. Payment with a credit or debit card is the preferred payment and will result in a fastest response.

Individuals without credit or debit cards may call one of the above numbers and arrange to mail-in a cashier’s check or money order (cash will not be accepted). Do not forget to include your telephone number and your mailing address when you mail in your payment. Note: Cashier’s checks and money orders will require more time (vs. credit card) to process a commercial-use permit.

Regulations for commercial-use fuel/firewood and personal-use fuelwood may be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/plumas/passes-permits/?cid=stelprdb5422456

Where you can cut:

Generally, the permit authorizes felling of dead trees within 100 feet of a Plumas NF system road or trail designated for wheeled motor vehicle use (See the Plumas National Forest Woodcutting and Christmas Tree Cutting 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) & removal of dead or down wood from the Plumas NF EXCEPT: 1-Areas closed to woodcutting as shown on the attached Woodcutting Map or posted as "Cutting Prohibited"; 2-Active commercial timber harvest or other commercial operations; 3-Forest Service recreation sites, trailheads, or Wild & Scenic River areas; 4-Dead trees or logs that are designated with paint or official Forest Service signs; 5-Within 200 feet of a railroad or transmission line; 6-Felling of hardwoods (dead or alive) on the Beckwourth Ranger District. Cutting live trees is prohibited.  In addition, the permit does not authorize cutting or removal of wood from private land. It is the permittee's responsibility to determine land ownership.

Daily Fire Restrictions:

It is the responsibility of the permittee 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.

Chainsaw Use:

Chainsaws shall 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) shall 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:

The permit authorizes permittees that are actively engaged in loading cut firewood to drive 100 feet off a NF 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 NF system road or trail designated for wheeled motor vehicle use on the current Plumas National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map.  Motorized vehicle use off of NF system roads or trail is governed by the Forest Off-Highway Vehicle policy, existing Forest closure orders, existing road closures, or any Forest fire restrictions.  It is the permittee's responsibility to determine if and when they are allowed to drive off system roads to retrieve cut firewood. When driving off road, permittee 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 off road to retrieve cut firewood in or near dry vegetation.

Differences in Forest Woodcutting Policies:

Woodcutting requirements on the Lassen NF vary substantially from the Plumas NF & must be followed when removing wood within the Lassen NF (Lassen Zones 3, 4, or 5). Wood removal within the Lassen Zones requires the permittee to possess & abide by the Lassen Firewood Cutting Requirements & Lassen Firewood & Christmas Tree Cutting Map.

Firewood Tags and Transporting Cut Firewood:

The Plumas NF Woodcutting Map is made a part of the permit and must be in your possession during cutting and/or transporting wood. Personal use firewood permits are restricted to a maximum of 12 cords per person during the calendar year. Each load ticket (firewood 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.  In addition, each firewood 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. Permit, maps, & tags shall be available for review at the request of a Forest Service, CDF, State or Federal Law Enforcement Officer.

Additional Conditions and Restrictions:

Additional conditions and restrictions are listed on the Firewood permit. Please be sure to review all the conditions of the firewood permit prior to cutting your wood.

 

Christmas Tree Permits

Personal-use 2020 Christmas tree cutting permits for the Plumas National Forest are on sale using on-line or mail-in options only; there will be no office sales due to Covid-19. Christmas trees may be cut from November 1st through December 31st although ice and snow may close roads at any time. You must be at least 18 years old to purchase a permit on-line or through the mail; they are non-refundable and no more than two permits will be sold to one address or household.

Your permit/tag must always be visible during transit either securely attached to your tree (mail-in) or on your dashboard (on-line).

How to purchase your Christmas tree permit

Online: Christmas Tree cutting permits are $10 each with another $2.50 handling fee assessed by Recreation.gov. To purchase a Christmas Tree permit, visit www.recreation.gov/tree-permits/plumas. It is important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Visitors will also need to set up or login to a Recreation.gov account to complete the transaction. Cutting area maps are provided via links for downloading.

Mail-in:  Permits are $10 each. Written requests may be submitted after October 1st but must be received at the Supervisor's Office address by December 1st. Mail requests received after December 1st will be returned as the Forest Service will not guarantee that permits will reach their destination prior to December 24th. A map of the tree cutting areas and regulations are included with mail-in permits.

To mail for a permit, please fill out, sign, and date the starred portions of the
Mail-In Request Form (or provide the same information in a handwritten note - print clearly!) and mail to: 
 

Plumas National Forest
Christmas Tree Permit
159 Lawrence Street
Quincy, CA 95971

Make checks or money orders (no cash) payable to:  USDA Forest Service. Do not send a stamped self-addressed return envelope. No more than two permits will be mailed to one address or household.

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.

Because of the unpredictable weather conditions in the mountains, plan to cut a tree as soon as possible, dress appropriately in warm clothing, and be prepared for possible ice and snow on the roads (carry tire chains, water and food). Ensure a family member or friend knows your route as tow trucks may be unavailable or not within cell range.

For More information

  • Contact local Forest Service offices for more information about road conditions and cutting areas.
  • Policy questions about the personal use Christmas tree cutting program should be directed to Will Brendecke, Forest Silviculturist at william.brendecke@usda.gov.
  • Questions about Recreation.gov may be directed to Erika Brenzovich, Forest Recreation Program Manager, at erika.brenzovich@usda.gov.

Other Forest Product Permits

Section being developed. Call local Ranger District for other forest product permit information.

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/plumas/passes-permits/forestproducts