Michigan residents now can apply online for a free permit to cut fuelwood from dead and downed trees in approved areas of Michigan’s state forests.
Fuelwood season will begin May 1, a month later than usual, because of statewide Department of Natural Resources office closures due to the COVID-19 virus.
DNR staff recommends that you visit the site where you plan to cut before applying for a permit. The quality and quantity of dead wood varies by location. Current maps of areas where cutting will be allowed are available online. The permit form is at Michigan.gov/Fuelwood. Print it, complete it, and carry it with you when you are cutting wood. If you have already submitted an application and payment, your check will be returned to you along with your permit. Permits are good for 90 days after they’re issued; all permits expire Dec. 31 regardless of issue date.
Check fuelwood maps to make sure the area where you plan to cut is open for fuelwood. Permits are for use on designated state forest land in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula. 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 normally cost $20 each; 2020 permits are free due to the effect of the COVID-19 virus on DNR staff availability. The DNR will assess the situation for 2021 after this fuelwood season has ended. Local DNR customer service centers and management unit offices are currently closed due to statewide measures against COVID-19. Staff is available by telephone.
If you have additional questions specifically regarding fuelwood permits, contact Doug Heym at 517-284-5867.