U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Montana/Dakotas
 
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Fuelwood Gathering/Permits

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) issue permits for the cutting and gathering of fuelwood. Each agency has rules specific to this activity and inquiries pertaining to the cutting and gathering of fuelwood on USFS lands will be referred to the appropriate USFS office.

A fuelwood permit is required in order to cut or gather fuelwood from BLM-administered lands for personal use as well as commercial use. Not all BLM field offices issue permits, and those that do do not necessarily issue permits every year for all BLM lands. Some BLM lands are closed to fuelwood cutting and gathering. Your local BLM office will be able to provide you with information on the requirements and availability of fuelwood permits for their area.
 
Some additional restrictions may be applied to fuelwood cutting and gathering permits when power saws are used for the cutting activities. These may include the requirement for approved muffler and screen type spark arresters, a fully charged and usable fire extinguisher, bucket, and shovel. During the fire season, May 1 through September 30, power saw operations may be curtailed or suspended, depending on current fire risk conditions.
 
BLM measures fuelwood by the cord. A cord of fuelwood measures 4 by 4 by 8 feet. Outside dimensions equal 128 cubic feet. BLM has determined that the solid wood content for a cord of wood in our area to be 81.6 cubic feet. On average, a full-size half-ton pickup, without box extenders, will hold approximately one-half cord of wood when stacked level with the top of the pickup bed box.
 

Fuelwood Characteristics
Species
Weight Range lbs/dry cord
Approximate BTU/lb
Ease of Splitting
Sparks from Burning
Aspen
2000-2400
8,400
Easily
Few
Cottonwood
1800-2200
8,300
Hard
Few
Ponderosa pine
2100-2500
9,100
Easily
Moderate
Lodgepole pine
2100-2600
8,600
Easily
Moderate
Douglas fir
2600-3200
9,200
Easily
Moderate
Spruce
1800-2200
8,100
Easily
Many
Juniper
3000-3600
10,300
Hard
Many

 
 

 


 
Last updated: 06-28-2012