Bozeman, MT – As the public continues to head onto National Forest land to collect firewood for the winter, it is important to be aware of areas that are off-limits for cutting. Across the Custer Gallatin National Forest, numerous timber sales are in various states of progress and firewood gathering is prohibited in all of them to prevent the taking of any commercial wood valued by the timber sale contract. Timber sale areas that are closed to firewood collection include the following: the Hebgen Flats, Teepee Creek, Fir Ridge and Whits Road areas on the Hebgen RD; the North Bridger and Bozeman Municipal Watershed areas on the Bozeman RD; the East Boulder area on the Yellowstone RD and the East Short Pines area on the Sioux RD.
“While firewood gathering is prohibited throughout all timber sale units, some areas like the East Boulder have large log decks present in landing areas along roads,” says Alex Sienkiewicz, District Ranger on the Yellowstone RD. “It is important for the public to know that until the timber sale closes, these logs are absolutely not allowed to be taken for personal firewood.”
Other areas that are closed to firewooding include developed recreation sites such as campgrounds, trailheads and picnic areas and any other area that is otherwise signed as closed. Anyone collecting firewood on National Forest lands must have a permit, which is free this year. This permit explains all rules and regulations and includes maps that illustrate which areas are closed to firewooding. Please remember that driving off-road to gather firewood is not allowed and it is always a good idea to check the forest Motor Vehicle Use Map to see what roads are open. Firewood permits can be obtained at your local ranger district office. As most offices are currently closed to the public, please call ahead.
For more information and to download free motor vehicle use maps, visit us online at www.fs.usda.gov/custergallatin.