Passes & Permits

Firewood

Effective January 1st, 2023, firewood and other special forest products including botanicals and mushrooms will be provided to the public for personal use without a fee. (This does not include Christmas Trees). Although there is no fee, a permit is still required. Permits can be obtained by calling district offices. Permits are being required to assist the Forest Service with tracking harvest information and to allow for sharing of important wildfire safety and firewood collection information.  

Christmas Tree Permits

Coming back to Recreation.gov this holiday season, you'll be able to purchase a permit to cut down a Christmas Tree on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Cutting down your own tree is the perfect way to create a memorable holiday experience, share a special tradition with family and friends, and help maintain a healthy forest.

Christmas Tree Permits will be available for purchase through Recreation.gov. Sales dates for permits may vary by individual forests, so be sure to check with your local forest for location-specific information.

A woman and two children standing in the snow with a tree on a sled.

Where to Cut your Tree
•Your permit allows you to cut Christmas trees on the Beaverhead -Deerlodge National Forest.

•Make sure you cut your tree on public lands by checking a Beaverhead -Deerlodge National Forest Visitor Map and follow road restrictions on the Motor Vehicle Use Map.

•Do not cut on private land, in wilderness areas, designated recreation sites, previously thinned areas, or existing tree plantations.

•Do not cut in active timber sales or areas that have been planted with new trees.

•Do not cut trees visible from major roads, within 150-feet of streams and creeks, or in other well-used areas.

•Please post your permit on your dash.


Selecting your Tree
•Each forest has limitations on the size of the tree you can cut and the species of trees that are permitted. See below to help you measure and choose a tree that meets your permit's guidelines.

•Prohibited Tree Species: Whitebark Pine or White Pine (5-Needle Pine)

•For identification information, visit:https://fieldguide.mt.gov/displaySpecies.aspx?family=Pinaceae

•Tree Height: 12 feet maximum

•Stump height: 6 inches maximum

•Take the whole tree. Cutting the tree top off is prohibited.

•If snow is on the ground, remove it from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.

•Cut the leftover branches from the stump and scatter them.

Post and Pole Permits

Many people call about getting teepee poles, fence rails and miscellaneous small wood from the forest. These are classified as small timber sales and require a permit from the District's small sale administrator.

Mushrooms Close image of a morel mushroom

Depending on the year - Free Use and/or Commercial Use mushroom harvesting permits may be offered by the Forest.  The Northern Region brochure for mushroom harvesting is available here. The mushroom season will vary somewhat with local weather and site conditions. Information concerning the 2022 mushroom permit guidance is contained in the below chart.

 

 

Mushroom Hunter Helper

 

This interactive web map can help you find past wildfire and prescribed fire activities have taken place for the purpose of personal use mushroom gathering. Review all rules and guidelines regarding the specific areas and mushroom permit requirements for the individual national forest(s) you will be going to and know how to stay safe while recreating in burned areas. Common Hazards while Recreating in Post-Fire Landscapes (5/4/18, 49 kb)


Remember:

  • Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Beware of falling snags and stump holes, especially in burned areas.
  • You are not permitted to be on private property. It is your responsibility to know where harvesting is allowed.
  • Motorized vehicles are not allowed on closed roads or off of existing roads.
  • Raking or other ground disturbances are not allowed. Use a knife to cut the mushroom or break the stem off at ground level. Please leave the area cleaner than you found it.

Rocks

Collecting rocks, say for backyard landscaping, requires a permit. Please contact us for more information. If you are interested in rockhounding, visit the Rocks & Minerals page of our Recreation section. 

 

 

National Pass and Permit Information