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MADISON – People interested in harvesting firewood for the fast-approaching winter need to have permission to harvest wood off property they do not own, according to state forestry officials, who add that there are updated rules limiting how far and what kids of firewood can be transported within Wisconsin.
A written permit is the first step when it comes to firewood harvest, according to Steve Hubbard, a forest products specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
“Who signs that permit for you depends upon the property you have in mind. It could be a private landowner, the county, the state, a timber company or a township,” Hubbard said. Most county forests, federal forests, and state properties offer firewood gathering permits for a minimal fee.
People interested in harvesting firewood from state lands need to complete a state Forest Products Permit (Form 2460-008), which can be found at most state parks and state forests in Wisconsin. The price of the permit and amount of firewood allowed varies among properties. The permit is good for one year.
Firewood harvesting may consist of both dead and downed trees as well as live trees. However, this can vary from property to property. Please contact the county, state, or federal property you would like to harvest on to find out exact regulations along with any permit fees required.
Protect your property – get firewood near where you will burn it
Pests and diseases of trees are commonly moved in firewood. To avoid bringing a new pest to their own land, people should collect firewood from a property near where it will be used.
State and federal quarantines prohibit the movement of firewood out of areas quarantined for emerald ash borer or gypsy moth. A current, color-coded map of where it is legal to move firewood by county is available at dnr.wi.gov, keyword “firewood.” More information on these and other pests that move in firewood is also available from that webpage.
Wisconsin certified firewood has been processed to kill potential pests and diseases hiding inside. It is legal to move this wood around the state regardless of quarantines. People who prefer to buy certified wood instead of getting a permit to harvest wood themselves can find a Wisconsin certified dealer.