State forest fuelwood permits available now at no cost

Michigan

MICHIGAN (WJMN) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will offer free permits for the second year in a row to cut fuelwood from dead and downed trees in approved areas of Michigan State Forests.

Fuelwood season begins March 1, 2021. This is earlier than previous years to help people who may be facing economic hardship due to COVID-19 during the heating season.

“We are trying to make the permit process as simple and effective as possible,” said Jeff Stampfly, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division.

The online permit can be found at Michigan.gov/Fuelwood. The Fuelwood Map button  can be used to locate the township and range where you would like to collect. The Fuelwood Permit button will bring up a fillable pdf. Complete the form, enter the township and range of the map that you will be using (for example, T22N, R09W), and then print, sign and carry it with you when you go to cut wood.

Permits are for use on designated state forest land in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula. The quality and quantity of dead wood varies by location. DNR staffers suggest you visit the site where you plan to cut before applying for a permit. Some sites still may be inaccessible due to snow in March, so check the area where you plan to cut to make sure you can reach it before filling out the permit form.

Fuelwood permits allow for collection of up to five standard cords of wood per household. Wood is for personal use only and cannot be resold or traded. Wood must be dead and down within 200 feet of a road. No off-road use of vehicles is permitted to gather wood.

Permits are good for 90 days after they are issued; all permits expire Dec. 31 regardless of issue date.

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