Forest Product Permits

Ginseng harvesting permits will not be issued in 2016.

Due to declining wild ginseng populations, a permit to collect ginseng from national forest lands will not be issued at this time.

View 2016 Ginseng Fact Sheet

View "Gathering Forest Products" brochure

Gathering Forest Products

The Daniel Boone National Forest provides an array of natural resources that may be gathered for personal use, but there are a few rules to remember. The gathering of most forest products from national forest land requires the issuance of a permit by the U.S. Forest Service. Without a permit, only certain products may be gathered for personal use. A permit is required to collect any forest product in bulk or for commercial purposes.

When gathering forest products, it is important to know if you are on private or public land. Maps are available at Forest Service offices that will help determine where national forest boundaries occur.

View "Gathering Forest Products" brochure

No Permit Required

  • Fruits and nuts
  • Pine cones
  • Mushrooms
  • Wood for Campfires: Campers on national forest lands may collect firewood without a permit while camping. The wood collected must be dead and down and used for campfires only. No standing trees may be cut - dead or alive - of any size. No wood can be taken home or to private land.

Permits Required

  • Firewood may be collected only in designated areas with a valid firewood permit. A map of the designated area will be provided with the permit. Each firewood permit is a $20 minimum, which allows for the collection of up to 400 cubic feet (approximately four full-size pickup truck loads, or four cords). The permit is valid for cutting dead and down wood only, unless otherwise specified. No firewood permits are issued from the Supervisor's Office of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Winchester, Ky.
  • Plant Collecting of any species from national forest lands requires a permit to prevent impacts on plant populations. Collectors must specify the plants they intend to gather. Each permit for plant collection has a 10-pound limit. The permit is valid for only one district location of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Each permit costs $20. The expiration date may vary by species and by district. These permits are issued for personal, noncommercial use only.
  • The collection of plants without a valid permit is punishable under federal law.

What Is Not Allowed

  • Ginseng harvest – In an effort to increase wild ginseng populations, the Daniel Boone National Forest has suspended the issuance of permits to collect ginseng pending population status improvements. View 2016 Ginseng Fact Sheet.
  • Rock collecting – Rock is considered a nonrenewable resource. The collection of rock, including river rock, is prohibited.
  • Taking of Historic and Prehistoric Artifacts - The taking of any historic or prehistoric artifact from national forest land is strictly prohibited. Historic items may include old nails, glassware and household utensils that were once used during early settlement years. Prehistoric items may include arrowheads, pottery and other objects that are centuries old. Any ground or earth disturbing activity is prohibited where historic and prehistoric artifacts may occur.
  • Stripping tree bark – This activity is prohibited on national forest lands and may be punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.

Contact Us

The Daniel Boone National Forest has five office locations that issue permits for gathering forest products.

Cumberland Ranger District
2375 KY 801 South
Morehead, KY 40351
606-784-6428

Gladie Visitor Center
3451 Sky Bridge Road
Stanton, KY 40380
606-663-8100

London Ranger District
761 South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744
606-864-4163

Redbird Ranger District
91 Peabody Road
Big Creek, KY 40914
606-598-2192

Stearns Ranger District
3320 US 27 North
Whitley City, KY 42653
606-376-5323