Michigan DNR now issuing fuelwood permits

Anyone who gets heat from a wood stove will have an easier time getting the fuel they need. The Michigan DNR is now taking applications for fuelwood permits.

The DNR gives out about 2,500 to 3,500 fuelwood permits each year across the state. Many of those are issued in the U.P. A permit costs $20. It grants permission to harvest dead and downed wood from state-owned forestland in the northern two-thirds of Michigan.

“This year, we also issued emergency fuelwood permits before April 1st, and that was because we had such a difficult winter, such a cold winter,” DNR deputy public information officer Debbie Munson Badini said. “People were running out of wood, so we did issue emergency permits. If you got one of those, you can still apply for one of the regular permits.”

The harvested wood must be for personal use only and cannot be sold or traded. It also must be within 200 feet of a road. The DNR has changed the permitting process slightly for 2014.

“One change this year that is going to be helpful for people is, they do not have to come in to apply for one in person anymore,” Badini said. “They can apply for one through the mail, and the application is available online at michigan.gov/fuelwood.”

Even though anyone can apply now, the DNR says it might be a good idea to wait for the weather to warm up first. Anyone who gets a permit must use it within 90 days of receiving it, and the deep frost and piles of snow are likely to make harvesting difficult for a while.