View Full Version : Wood cutting permit question

Lyle Rawlins
10-05-2012, 12:53 AM

I am considering getting a wood gathering permit to obtain wood in local national forests in Southern California.

Does anyone have experience in this and is it something really worth doing?


Steve Peterson
10-05-2012, 1:08 PM
Are you looking for firewood or a few select pieces for woodturning?

Years ago a friend got a permit for firewood around the Tahoe area. The closest wood was usually pine with a lot of sap. He had to drive a lot farther to get cedar.

Lyle Rawlins
10-06-2012, 2:12 AM
Looking for turning wood.

I haven't used my fireplace in perhaps 10 years.

David G Baker
10-06-2012, 1:23 PM
My brother lives in the Sacramento area and once in a while he would get a permit to get wood from the National forrest. The wood had to be from downed trees. He made the mistake of stacking the wood next to the outside wall of his shop. The termites in the north woods make residential termites look like wimps, they ate most of the wall next to the wood pile, traveled to his house and started esting that until he finally found out what was going on. This was back when Cloridain was still available. He had to dig trenches around the foundation under his house and dose the soil with the Cloridain, this stopped them from continuing eating his house. He sprayed the garage wall area with the chemical and killed the bugs but he had to replace the wall up to 4 feet above the floor. This may not apply to you if you can cut standing healthy timber but I would still make sure the wood is bug free.

Ken Fitzgerald
10-06-2012, 1:54 PM
I would check with the local governing agency. IIRC when we heated with firewood, the permit said ony dead wood could be cut.

Paul Douglass
10-06-2012, 1:56 PM
In our state you have to cut, SPLIT the wood and stack it just so, in the trailer/pickup before leaving the woods! I guess it is the states way of making sure none of us little guys don't apply for a permit.

Roger Bell
10-07-2012, 11:22 AM
On National Forest lands around here (not to be confused with State Forest, BLM or private timberlands), you can get a two cord permit for FIREWOOD from most NF offices. It will explain the terms and conditions of issuance. These generally include cutting in designated areas, cutting down wood only, various fire restrictions and tagging of the load. You will get a map of where the various designted cutting areas are. The cost of the permit is inexpensive. The cost of gas and time may not be, depending on how far you have to drive.

If you are looking for specific species for turning, you should talk to someone about getting a permit for "carving stock" or the like. That is a different kind of permit that allows you to cut a single, specific live tree. In this case you have to identify your tree and a permit staffer comes out and approves it. Around here, chainsaw carvers and turners sometimes get that type of permit for red cedar and yew.