Forest Product Permits

Among the many buds and blooms of eastern Kentucky, the sharp-eyed visitor to the Daniel Boone National Forest may spot plants more known for their culinary or medicinal value rather than their colorful blooms or sweet smell. Ramps, morel mushrooms, pinecones, ginseng, and even firewood and rocks, all belong to the category of natural resources known as “forest products.” Many of these forest products, like ginseng and other plant life, require a permit to collect; while others, like slippery elm bark or rocks, are never to be removed from the Forest.

By issuing permits to gather forest products or by prohibiting the harvest of certain species, the Daniel Boone National Forest ensures the health, diversity, and productivity of these specific resources for generations to come.

General Forest Product Guidelines

  • 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.
  • Harvesting forest products without a permit or outside of required harvesting guidelines may be punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. We encourage you to reach out to your local Forest Service Office to clarify your legal responsibilities before harvesting or removing any resource from the Forest.
  • Ginseng Permit Update

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    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. The Forest will not issue ginseng permits in 2023.

Commonly Harvested Forest Product Requirements

The taking of any historic or prehistoric artifact from national forest land is strictly prohibited and may be punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. 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.

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