Special Forest Products
Berries and More
Beargrass, Ferns, & Foliage
Poles, Transplants, & Specialty Woods
Guides and Prices
- Special Forest Products Price List
- What Can I Harvest for Incidental (Personal) Use?
- Printable Incidental Use Guide
Incidental Use District Maps
Frequently Asked Questions
Please select from the following options to learn more.
What are Special Forest Products?
Special Forest Products are products or natural resources that are not the traditional timber and fiber products. Examples include such products as floral greenery, Christmas trees and boughs, mushrooms, transplants (trees, shrubs or herbaceous plants), cones, medicinal plants, cuttings, herbs, nuts, berries, decorative wood, and pitch.
What is a permit, and why do I need one?
A permit must be obtained prior to harvesting and collecting most forest products. As part of issuing a permit, we let people know how they harvest sustainably, safely, and responsibly. These instructions will help our customers remove the product in the most ecologically sound manner.
Most product permits require payment of at least $20.00, depending on the amount purchased and market value of the product being harvested. Product prices depend on the availability of the product and are based on a percentage of the fair market value.
Free use permits are available for non-commercial amounts of most special forest products for personal use. These permits are for amounts that are more than "incidental" amounts and less than the amount that can be purchased for the minimum $20 charge permit. Each person is allowed only $20 in free use permits during any one calendar year. Availability of free use permits depend on the amount wanted and the product desired.
The amount of Special Forest Products harvested on the RRSNF is limited to promote the viability of the species harvested and to account for important ecological interactions, such as those between special forest product species and pollinators, wildlife, and other plants.
How do I obtain a permit, and what do I do with it once I have it?
1.Call your closest District Office and find out whether the product you want to collect is available.
2.Go, in person, to the District Office with valid photo identification issued by the U.S. Federal Government or State Government. Offices accept cash, check, and all major credit cards. At the District Office, obtain either a:
* Free Use Permit: Small quantities of products collected for your use only. Anything obtained for free cannot be sold, traded or bartered.
* Personal Use Permit: Large quantities of products collected for personal use. There is a minimum charge of $20.
* Commercial Use Permit: Products collected for commercial resale. Minimum charge of $20 applies. All products may not be available at each District Office.
3.Keep the permit and your identification on your person at all times while harvesting.
How can I harvest these products responsibly?
•Support sustainable management and conservation of these species through strict adherence to your permit conditions.
•Be familiar with and practice Low-impact /Ecologically Sensitive Collection Techniques.
•Harvest in a manner that minimizes disturbance to the forest floor’s leaf layer and soil.
•Harvest only what you can reasonably use or sell while not gathering too much from any one site (ex. mushroom patch) or any one plant (ex. bough or leaf gathering).
•A good harvest site has no trash, litter, or visible human waste and is difficult to tell apart from the surrounding forest to a casual observer.
•For the protection of species and to ensure your own health, it is also vitally important for you to be able to correctly identify species.
What should I know before I go?
•Many areas open to the harvest of special forest products are remote and have steep terrain.
•Always let someone know where you plan to be and when you expect to return.
•Check weather and road conditions before leaving home.
•Be prepared for unexpected and rapidly changing weather.
•Some Forest Service and BLM roads are not maintained in the winter.
•Some public roads are only drivable by high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles.
•Carry tire chains, a saw, shovel, gloves, boots, flashlight, first aid kit, additional water and food, and other appropriate equipment and supplies.
•Observe all fire regulations and closures, carry the required fire tools, and stay updated to current fire weather conditions and adhere to current fire precautions.
Alerts & Warnings
- Forest Order RRS 06 10 22 23 56 Alcohol Prohibition Illinois River Corridor
- Illinois River Swinging Bridge Closure
- Butte Fork Trail Bridge in Red Buttes Wilderness Closed Through July 2023
- Understanding Parking and Fire Restrictions on the Illinois River
- Bear-Human Interactions on the Rise!