Forest Products Permits

A forest produces a variety of products which people can harvest, collect, and use for a variety of things. Depending on the forest product, and its use - gathering these items may require a permit.  

Chippewa National Forest offices continue to operate in a virtual manner in response to COVID-19 until further notice. However, continuing our service to you during this time is very important. We are ready and available to help you!

Firewood Permits 

Personal Use Fuelwood (Firewood) Permits: Permits are being offered virtually right now. There is no fee for a fuelwood permit at this time. For information on obtaining one, please contact one of our offices below.

  • Cass Lake: 218.335.8600
  • Blackduck: 218.835.4291
  • Deer River: 218.246.2123
  • Walker: 218.547.1044

Balsam Boughs

Issued by making an appointment by calling one of our offices listed above.

Balsam boughs are a very popular product for crafters on the Forest. Balsam boughs make excellent wreaths for your front door!  Permits for harvesting Balsam boughs are available at all Chippewa National Forest offices. $50 minimum permit for 2 tons. Limit 1 permit per company per year. 

Christmas Trees

Christmas tree permit hanging on a tree.

  • Effective October 15, 2020 Christmas tree permits can be purchased online
  • It is important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit.  Visitors will also need to set up or login to a account to complete the transaction.
  • Chippewa National Forest Christmas tree permits can also be obtained through the mail by sending your request and payment made to USDA Forest Service ($5.00 per permit) to: Chippewa National Forest, Attn: Christmas Permit, 201 Minnesota Ave. East, Walker, MN 56484

Christmas tree cutting on the Chippewa National Forest has been a holiday tradition for many years. Many families begin their holiday season by cutting their own Christmas tree from the national forests. All you need is a $5.00 permit, sharp axe, thermos of cocoa and a little patience. Away from the holiday rush, families discover the peace of the forest surrounded by winter white. Christmas Tree Permits can now be purchased at

The Christmas Tree permits are free if you have a 4th grader with an EKO (Every Kid Outdoors) pass.

To help protect the future of this program, we ask that you take special care to read and follow the guidelines.

Guidelines and Restrictions for collecting your Christmas Trees

  • One permit is required for each Christmas Tree. Permits are $5.00 each.
  • Per the Every Kid in a Park Program (EKIP), all 4th graders are entitled to one FREE Christmas tree permit with a valid EKIAP pass redeemed online or calling one of our offices.
  • Christmas Tree permits must be validated and attached to your tree during transit.
  • Cut your Christmas Tree only on National Forest lands. National Forest maps are available for sale.
  • Respect road and area closures.

Please do not cut trees:

  • On private property.
  • Within 150 feet of state highways, picnic areas, campgrounds and other developed areas.
  • Within 300 feet of streams and bodies of water.
  • Within young tree plantations (Nursery grown seedlings planted for future forests).

Safety Information

  • Always let someone know where you plan to cut.
  • Bring additional warm clothing, a container of hot liquid, water, lunch or a few snacks as it always takes longer than expected.
  • Carry a flashlight, chains, first aid kit, a hatchet or axe, good warm gloves, boots, and rope to tie your tree down.
  • When you bring your tree home, immediately cut a 1 inch diagonal piece off the bottom. Place your tree in a container with a mixture of one part sugar to sixteen parts water. Keeping the container filled will help prolong the freshness of your tree.
  • Locate your tree so it will not block exits, away from heat.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near any evergreen decorations. Use decorations which are noncombustible, such as glass, or which are flame-retardant. Keep natural evergreens and polystyrene decorations away from candles, fireplaces, and other open flames.

Maple Taps (spiles):

  • Example of a maple tap on a treeMinimum permit: $20 for 80 taps @$0.25/tap
  • Limit 1 permit per person per year
  • Chippewa National Forest land only
  • Permits can be obtained at any Chippewa National Forest office