People can cut up to 12 cords of firewood for personal use cost- and permit-free April 1 to June 1 on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

A firewood gathering map is available at go.usa.gov/xv3wu and guidelines at go.usa.gov/xdhHP. Check with local ranger districts for restrictions or requirements other than these:

  • Do not fell live trees.
  • Do not cut standing dead trees or downed logs with signs, tags or paint marks on them.
  • No firewood gathering is allowed in developed recreation areas, campgrounds and wild and scenic river corridors, and within timber sale units or other areas signed or mapped as being closed to firewood gathering.
  • Trees or logs must not be felled or skidded across live streams, lakes or reservoirs. If a tree is accidentally felled into a waterway, leave it. No firewood gathering is allowed within 150 feet of a running stream, pond, lake, marsh or wet area.
  • Prohibited activities include: using over-the-terrain vehicles for skidding, yarding or skidding systems in excess of 100 feet, log trucks for hauling, or vehicles driven off roadways to gather firewood.
  • In fire season, chainsaw operators must have a fire extinguisher and shovel; chainsaws need an approved spark arrestor screen; and vehicles must have a baffled muffler and tailpipe.
  • Six feet is the longest piece that may be removed.
  • Firewood can’t be resold.
  • Pile or lop and scatter slash away from roads, transmission lines, ditches and streams.

Drive with caution on forest roads, which may be snowy and icy at higher elevations and wet, muddy and easily damaged by vehicles at lower elevations.

For more information call a ranger district in Dillon (683-3900), Butte (494-2147) or Madison (682-4253).

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