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Harvesting fuelwood in state forests
The fuelwood season opens April 1 and collection permits will be available for a $20 fee. Use our fuelwood maps to determine where firewood collection is allowed. Permits may be purchased online and by mail. They are also available for purchase at DNR Customer Service Centers and select forestry field offices in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula; call to confirm availability and business hours.
Permits are for up to five standard cords of wood. Wood must be dead and down within 200 feet of a road. Fuelwood cannot be resold or traded. Permits are valid for up to 90 days after the date they are issued; all expire Dec. 31.
New in 2022: Starting April 1, you can now purchase a state forest fuelwood collection permit through our online licensing system. View and print your licenses, manage your customer profile and see purchase history all in one convenient location.
Download a fuelwood permit application and print it to purchase a fuelwood permit by mail. Fill it out, enclose a $20 check payable to the State of Michigan, and send it to the DNR office which manages the state forest land where you wish to collect fuelwood. If approved, your permit will be emailed or mailed to you.
How much wood is in a cord?
A standard cord is 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 4 feet high.
Firewood, in non-packaged form, is sold by a measurement called a "cord" or "fraction of a cord." A cord is defined as 128 cubic feet when the wood is neatly stacked.
You may see the terms "ric," "face cord," or another local measurement. However, these terms have no standard measurements. Be sure to know the dimensions of the pile of wood being sold.
Fuelwood collection frequently asked questions
Have questions about fuelwood collecting? See common questions below, or download the full document:
Do I have to have the permit with me when collecting wood?
Yes. Also, permits are only valid on state forest land within the permitted area.
What if I don’t get around to collecting all 5 cords of wood before the permit expires – can I get an extension?No. Cutting should start when permit is purchased. No extensions or refunds will be given.
The permit is in my name but can I have someone else cut my wood for me?
Yes, However, YOU (the permittee) must be on site when cutting and in the vehicle when transporting the wood.
Can I get more than one 90-day permit a year?No. Permits are restricted to one 90-day permit per household per year. However, you still have the option to visit the U.S. Forest Service and obtain a permit to collect fuelwood on federal forest land.
I know a few timber sales where I’m sure the logger has finished. Can I collect wood there?
Maybe. Wood may not be removed from timber sale areas until that timber sale area is included on a permit map. The General Fuelwood Permit maps are updated each year before the start of the permit season (April 1). If you are interested in a particular area that is not included on the General map, contact the local DNR office to inquire about a Specific Fuelwood Permit.
Can I drive off a road to collect wood?
No. You must remain on established roads. No off-road use of vehicles is permitted; this includes ATVs, ORVs, etc.
Can I take a wheelbarrow off-road to collect wood?Yes, you may use a wheelbarrow or handcart off-road.
Can I cut live trees or trees that are standing but dead?No. Remove only dead and down material from areas shown on the map provided. No standing trees, alive or dead, may be cut under a general area permit.
Can I sell any of the fuelwood that I collect from this permit?No. Firewood removed under this permit is for personal use only and is not to be sold or traded.
When do I have to fill out the Collection Log and what happens if I forget to fill it out?
The Collection Log must be filled out prior to transporting fuelwood collected under the permit. If you are contacted by a conservation officer and the log is not completed, you may be considered in violation of the terms of the permit and may receive a citation.