DNR offering emergency fuelwood permits

While temperatures are starting to peek above zero once again, the ongoing extreme cold has affected many residents who use firewood as a heating source.

The Department of Natural Resources normally starts selling fuelwood permits in April. Because of this year’s harsh winter, it’s issuing permits early to residents who have located dead and downed firewood on state-owned land.

“If you know of a place where there’s firewood, you can come contact our office, and we’ll screen that request to see if there’s any conflicts there. Is there a timber sale where we’ve already sold that wood, or is there some ecological value that we’re restricting activity in that area?” said DNR Gwinn Forest Management Unit manager Jim Ferris. “If none of those things are there, then we’ll issue a permit. The permit is restricted to dead and downed wood, so, trees that have died and fallen or have blown down.”

The permits cost $20 and allow residents to collect up to five cords of wood for personal use. The average wood-heated home can use five to ten cords during an average winter.

“People’s normal supply of wood has run out early, so typically if they burn five cords in a year, this year they’re running out of wood in the middle of February,” added Ferris.

Members of the Michigan Association of Timbermen are also helping the community by providing firewood for sale. For more information on fuelwood permits, visit the DNR’s fuelwood website.