Forest Product Permits

Personal Use Firewood Permit

  • Permit year March 31-December 31, 2021
  • Cost: permits are currently free until the end of 2021
  • Minimum purchase: 4 cord
  • Maximum purchase: 12 cord

Free-use firewood permits will continue to be issued for the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest from April 1 to December 31, 2021. Permits are required as they help to track harvesting and communicate important wildfire safety and collection information. Permits that show an expiration of March 31, 2021 must be renewed. Free, hard-copy permits can be issued by mail by calling your local Ranger Station. In-person pickup at Ranger Stations may also be available. On January 1, 2022, a new firewood season will begin and run through December 31, 2022. 

Permits are valid on National Forest lands in Region 1. You must keep your permit on the dashboard of your vehicle where it is visible through the windshield. To cut firewood for someone else (third party), authorization must be approved when purchasing the permit.  A lost or stolen permit cannot be replaced or the fee refunded. You must have a valid drivers license or photo ID to purchase.

Firewood Reminders

  • Make certain you are cutting on the national forest. Your permit is only valid on public, national forest system lands. 
  • Do Not Cut firewood in recreation areas, campgrounds,summer home areas,in active timber sales,and in other areas of concentrated use. 
  • Firewood is defined as dead wood- standing or on the ground.
  • Cut a standing dead tree close to the ground, only leaving a low stump.
  • Scatter debris generated from wood gathering away from ditches, streams, and roadways.
  • Fire regulations require that chainsaw operators have a serviceable fire extinguisher and shovel available at all times. Saws must be equipped with an approved spark arresting screen.
  • Be prepared for sudden weather changes and adverse road conditions. 
  • Refer to the forest travel plan to avoid unexpected closures.

Post & Pole Permit

A permit is required to harvest posts and/or poles from National Forest Service lands. Please contact your local Forest Service office for more information.

Christmas Tree Permit

Christmas tree permits will be available online through or at select district offices for the 2021 holiday season starting November 1 through December 31.

Tips for making your outing a success......

  • Do not cut in recreation areas or widely space, previously thinned stands. the uniform spacing of tress and obvious stumps identifies thinned areas.
  • Do not cut in designated wilderness areas,campgrounds, within 100 feet of a well traveled roads, in summer home areas, active timber sale areas, and in other areas of concentrated use.
  • Cut your tree close to the ground, leaving a stump less than 10 inches in height. Remove all the limbs on the remaining stump.
  • Select a tree no taller than 12 feet. never cut the top out of a large tree.
  • Cosider cutting your tree as early as possible before snowfall closes your favorite areas.
  • Be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions and adverse road surfaces.

Learn more

Mushroom Permit

A permit may be required to harvest mushrooms from National Forest Service lands within the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest during the 2021 season which runs from May 1 until September 30, 2021.  Please see our Mushroom Guide for details.  Please contact your local Forest Service office for more information.  

Mushroom Guide

Morel Mushrooms

Rock Collection Permit

A permit is required to harvest rocks or minerals from National Forest Service lands. Please contact your local Forest Service office for more information.


Last updated: May 6, 2021