Passes & Permits - Forest Products

Permits are required for all commercial and certain individual activities that occur on the Forest.  A list of the more common personal use permits are listed below.  For further information or clarification on whether your activity falls under personal use or commercial use please contact your local forest service office.

Edible Material

No permit is required for recreational berry picking.

Depending on the year - Free Use and/or Commercial Use mushroom harvesting permits may be offered by the Forest. The mushroom season will vary somewhat with local weather and site conditions.

No permit is required for Incidental Use harvesting, up to five gallons per season (approximately 2 grocery bags).

Ornamental Permits - Incidental Free Use

10 bushels or less.

Less than 500 lbs. - about a pick up load.

Products such as snowberry, willows, dogwood, and beargrass. The approval of the Forest Botanist is required prior to permit issuance.

Less than 1000 lbs., about a pick up load. Usually the request is for decorative uses such as landscape projects, furniture, railings and walking sticks. In near a stream, the forest Hydrologist or Fisheries Biologist needs to approve of prior to issuance.

Plant Permits - Incidental Free Use

Must be less than 2' in height and limited to 10 per permit. Seedlings cannot be removed from plantation stands unless approval is given by District personnel. Additionally seedlings cannot be removed from recreation areas (campgrounds, picnic areas, or trailheads), riparian areas or from within areas that have been rehabilitated due to fire.

Mineral Permits

This rock collecting area, located up Burnt Creek Road past Gold Creek Campground on the Stevensville Ranger District, is generally open from April 1 through October 30 depending upon snow and road conditions. Material from this area is hard quartzite and its appearance is angular medium dark gray rock with moss. The size of the rock varies from 6" to 4'. Typical use of this rock is for landscaping, rock fence and fireplace. There is a minimum of 1 ton with a maximum of 10 tons per individual per year. There is no charge for the permit.

Permits are available at the Stevensville Ranger District and Darby Ranger District.

This rock collecting area, located 1 mile up Railroad Creek on the Darby Ranger District, is generally open from April 1 through October 30 depending upon snow and road conditions.  Material from this area is hard quartzite and its appearance is angular medium dark gray rock with moss.  The size of the rock varies from 6" to 4'.  Typical use of this rock is for landscaping, rock fence and fireplace. There is a minimum 1 ton with a maximum of 10 tons per individual per year.  There is no charge for the permit.  

Permits are available at the Stevensville Ranger District, Darby Ranger District and the Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor's Office.

Woody Material

The Bitterroot National Forest will continue to offer free firewood for personal use through 2022, and the forest is requiring the public obtain a free permit before harvesting. Forest officials are asking that the public call their local Forest Service office to obtain a hard copy permit in order to track harvesting and communicate important wildfire safety and collection information. Quantities up to 12 cords are authorized with a free use permit.

Those interested in collecting firewood need to first contact the Bitterroot National Forest by phone and provide their contact details, and a free, hard-copy permit will be issued by mail. In-person pickup at Ranger District offices may also be available, depending upon location, and will comply with CDC requirements for social distancing. The permit will be valid through 2022.

Under normal circumstances personal use firewood permits are $5 per cord (with a minimum purchase of 4 cords for $20) and a maximum of 12 cords allowed per household per year. Firewood permits are available year-round with a new permit season starting April 1st of each year. Read more.

Post and Pole permits are for personal use only. Currently there are four post and pole areas on the forest; Ambrose area on the Stevensville Ranger District, the Mine Road and 75 Road area's on the Darby Ranger District, and the Gibbons Pass area on the Sula Ranger District.

Only live lodgepole pine trees less than 6 inches in diameter at 4 1/2 feet from the ground level may be cut. Interested individuals are encouraged to view the areas first before purchasing a permit. Permits are non-refundable and available only at the Stevensville or Darby Ranger Districts. Permits are available June 15th thru September 30th.

Christmas Tree Permits can now be purchased online through Recreation.gov!