The Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest is already getting a lot of calls about woodcutting. 

The practice is allowed in certain sections of the forest, but the season doesn't start until May. 

National Forest spokesperson Robin DeMario says there's early interest because people want to finish their woodcutting before the hot summer kicks in. 

“You know May, June, those are still enough times to be able to get out in the national forest and get your firewood before those really hot July and August temperatures, and when restrictions are usually put in place,” DeMario said. 

The woodcutting season runs from May 1st through the end of the year. 

Permits will be available at national forest offices, which include locations in Chelan and Leavenworth in Chelan County. 

Woodcutters will need a permit, firewood tags, a map, and a copy of the regulations before they can cut and transport firewood. 

DeMario says the required tag can be seen on pickup trucks carrying wood from the forest. 

“You see this little stub on the back of a piece of wood there that’s either been stapled or nailed into the wood,” said DeMario. “That is the load tag or the woodcutting tag for the wood in that vehicle that has come off the national forest.”  

She says only downed and dead trees can be collected. 

Firewood cutting is also only allowed in certain areas that are designated on maps woodcutters are required to have. The exception is the National Forest lands in Okanogan County, where firewood gathering is allowed within 200 feet of a signed, unblocked forest service road if cutters are outside riparian areas. 

Woodcutters can obtain up to 12 cords per household per year, but only in four or more cord increments at a time.  

 A standard, a full cord of wood has a volume of 128 cubic feet, measured as a pile 8 feet long, 4 feet high, and 4 feet wide. A full cord can weigh up to 5,000 pounds.  

For comparison, the average pickup truck can hold 1/2 cord of wood. 

Commercial firewood permits will be available to purchase from the Cle Elum, Chelan, and Methow Valley Ranger Districts. 

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Gallery Credit: Aly

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