Personal use firewood permits will be available for purchase from the Mendocino National Forest beginning Monday, April 2. Permits are $5 per cord of wood, with a minimum purchase of four cords for $20. Personal use firewood cutting permits are valid from the date issued until December 31.
All firewood removed must be dead and down. The maximum length for a piece of firewood that can be removed is six feet. A cord of wood is a well stacked pile, 4 by 4 by 8 feet. It is illegal to remove firewood from the national forest without a valid permit. Permits are available in person or by mail from one of the offices listed below. A third party authorization form to allow another person to cut wood for the permit holder is available for individuals unable to cut the wood themselves. The form needs to be requested at the time of purchase. All firewood permit sales are final, with no refunds. Permittees will receive tags and a map of the forest. The mail request form is posted here: https://tinyurl.com/yc3vpsf5.
Permit holders should be aware that federal and state quarantines to prevent the spread of sudden oak death (SOD) are in effect for Lake and Mendocino Counties. Any firewood cut in these counties can only be transported into other SOD quarantine counties, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Marin, San Francisco, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma.
Firewood permits may be obtained from the following offices:
Forest Supervisor's Office/Grindstone Ranger District Office; 825 N. Humboldt Ave., Willows, CA 95988; 530-934-3316; Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Stonyford Work Center; 5171 Stonyford-Elk Creek Road, Stonyford, CA, 95979; 530-963-3128; Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Upper Lake Ranger Station; 10025 Elk Mountain Road, Upper Lake, CA 95485; 707-275-2361; Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Gathering firewood can be fun and economical. It is an important activity to many individuals and families surrounding the Mendocino National Forest. The following are some tips to remember:
Plan your trip - check the weather, bring water, emergency food, and the appropriate gear for the season. Make sure you have a full tank of gas when you leave. Also, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
Keep vehicles on designated roads and be aware of unexpected weather that may change conditions quickly. Wet dirt roads can turn to mud, making it possible to get stuck and cause damage to road, soil and water resources.
As fire season approaches, be aware of fire restrictions or forest orders that may be in effect.
An approved spark arrestor is required on chainsaws and an approved fire extinguisher or shovel is required to be within 25 feet of the point of saw operation.
Ensure you are cutting firewood on the Mendocino National Forest and not from other federal, state or private lands.
Cell phones are unreliable in many parts of the forest.
Validation tags must accompany each load being transported.
Check with local offices for current information before traveling to the forest.