National Forests and Grasslands throughout the Northern Region, including Flathead National Forest, offer free firewood for personal use. You must obtain a hard-copy permit in order to track harvesting and communicate important wildfire safety and collection information. Please adhere to all regulations and best practices while gathering Forest products. To obtain a permit, please call your local Ranger Station.
Guidelines and Best Practices:
- Follow all limits and excluded products as outlined in the Forest Products Permit Guidelines.
- Follow all post and pole permit guidelines in the Flathead National Forest Personal Use Post and Pole Permits information (post and pole maps included in this document)
- Protect future harvests. Reduce impacts to the fungi by not disturbing the soil. No raking, digging, or other ground disturbances are allowed when collecting mushrooms. Cut or break off mushrooms at ground level.
- Road Access: Motor Vehicle Use Maps for designated motorized roads and seasonal closures are available for download online. Motorized travel off designated roads and trails is prohibited.
- Collect from a wide-ranging area, do not limit all your collecting to a small area.
- If there is any ground disturbance, do your best to fill in the hole and cover with sod or dead plant material. Try not to leave exposed bare soil, as this is where weeds become established.
What Are Special Forest Products?
Special forest products are non-timber goods that can be found in the forest such as mushroom, beargrass leaves, fern greens, pine cones, evergreen boughs and huckleberries. Because many of these items have a commercial value, they may be over-harvested if not managed. In order to protect these resources, yet make them available to the public, the Flathead National Forest has adopted collection limits for these products. The forest has developed a Special Forest Products Plan to assure sustainable harvest of these resources into the future.
Please select from the following options to learn more.
Why do I need to pay a fee, or obtain a permit for certain products?
All plants on National Forest Service lands, from tiny lichens to the largest trees, belong to the American Public. Just as the Forest Service sells timber, harvesting plant materials that are of value must be purchased for a fair market value with the proceeds going to the U.S. Treasury. Permits are sometimes required to provide guidelines for appropriate collection, make collectors aware of any restrictions in collecting and to display the appropriate fee.
Obtaining Forest Product Permits
Listed below are the limits, fees and permit requirements for most products available. All limits and fees are for personal use only, and apply to one adult per calendar year. Gathering any product to be sold is considered commercial harvesting. Some of these products may be harvested in greater quantities for commercial use, however, different permits and fees are required. For more information about commercial harvesting, and more details on the limits and permit requirements for these and other products, contact one of the Flathead National Forest offices.
Select a Forest Product below to learn more about getting a permit, if required:
Visit our Christmas Tree page to find out more about getting a permit online and best practices for harvesting your tree.
No permit or fee required up to 10 gallons.
No commercial permits are being offered at this time.
PERSONAL USE (recreational)
No permit or fee is required for collecting up to 5 gallons of mushrooms per person, per year.
1 gallon per day possession limit.
A FREE-USE PERMIT is required for each person,
12 years and older, to collect between 5 and 20 gallons of mushrooms per year.
5 gallons per day possession limit.
A PERSONAL USE CHARGE PERMIT is required for each person 12-years and older to collect between 20 and 300 gallons of mushrooms per year.
$20 for 20 gallons, $1 for each additional gallon up to 300 gallons ($300) per person, per year.
All mushrooms must be sliced lengthwise in half at the time of harvesting. Resale of mushrooms is prohibited. Permits are available at any Flathead National Forest office. Please refer to the
Collection of fiddleheads and leaves only
Limit: 20 lbs. green weight. Free-use permit required which lists all species prohibited from collection.
Firewood permits will remain free through December 31, 2022.
Contact your local Ranger Station to obtain a permit.
Permit required. Find out more by downloading our Firewood Brochure.
Post & Poles
Permit required. $20 for 250 pieces, limit of 750 pieces(3 permits) per year. Available as either dead or live material. Contact your nearest Flathead National Forest Office for more information.
Seeds, Fruits and Berries (other than huckleberries)
Collection of SEEDS, FRUITS AND BERRIES (other than Huckleberries): No fees, limits or permits required.
No collection of flowering or seed heads allowed.
No permit or fees for up to 20 lbs per person per year. Amounts greater than 20 lbs. require commercial use permit.
Transplants - Trees
No permit required for up to 5 trees per year, less than 4.5 feet in height. Free Personal Use Permit required to collect 5-20 trees(No Cedar or Pacific Yew).
Transplants - Shrubs, Fords, Ferns and Grasses
Free Use Permit required: Up to 20 plants total. Free-use permit lists all species prohibited from collection.
Roots, Bulbs and Herbs
Free Use permit required for any collecting.
Mosses and Lichens
Free-use permit required which lists all species prohibited from collection. Limit: 1 lb. dry weight.
No permit or fee required for up to 100 lbs. green weight (except for Pacific Yew which has a 50lb. limit) per year. Amounts greater than 100 lbs. (or 50 lbs. for Pacific Yew) requires a commercial-use permit.
Native Plant Cuttings
No fee, but free-use permits with quantity limits are required for certain species. Check with your local Forest Service office.
Minerals permit required for up to 4 tons/year maximum. Use of hand tools only for loose rock.