All Bitterroot National Forest offices will be selling personal firewood cutting permits for 2019 beginning Monday, April 1.
The permits are good for one year and allow individuals to take up to 12 cords firewood (equal to a tightly piled stack of wood four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long) for $20 for four cords (minimum purchase). Additional cords may be purchased for $5 per cord for a total of 12 cords, per individual, per year.
These permits allow individuals to remove downed timber or to cut standing dead trees under most conditions on National Forests and Grasslands, and Bureau of Land Management lands within Montana, Northern Idaho and portions of North and South Dakota.
Permit holders should always check with the local ranger district to see if there are any specific local restrictions or requirements.
Firewood permits must be carried while harvesting wood, vehicles must remain on designated roads and trails, chainsaws and splitters must have an approved spark arrester and woodcutters must carry a shovel and fire extinguisher.
Wood cannot be cut or gathered within 150 feet of streams, creeks or waterways; in developed recreation areas, campgrounds; or along wild and scenic river corridors.
Slash piling must be done away from roads, ditches, power lines, or telephone lines and 15 feet away from the base of live trees in plies of 6 to 10 feet in diameter and no taller than 5 feet. Do not build piles on top of downed logs or rotten stumps or have objects that extend more than 3 feet from piles which will be burned by Bitterroot National Forest crews during the appropriate conditions. Keep ditches and road surfaces clear of debris (use a rake).
Use caution while driving on Forest Service roads as snow and ice remain at higher elevations while roads at lower elevations are wet and muddy and the soft roadbed can easily be damaged by vehicle traffic.
In June the Forest Service will announce temporarily open roads on each ranger district for easier access to personal use firewood.
Permits can be purchased weekdays at any Forest Service office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information and guidelines check the firewood permit and firewood cutting handout available at all Bitterroot National Forest offices or visit www.fs.usda.gov/bitterroot.
Or call local district offices for updates and more information: Supervisor’s Office, Hamilton, 406-363-7100; Stevensville Ranger District, 406-777-5461; Darby/Sula Ranger District, 406-821-3913; and West Fork Ranger District, 406-821-3269.