Forest Products Permits

Overview and price list | Firewood | Christmas Tree | Transplants | Post and Pole | Beargrass | Mushrooms | Other

 

Special Forest Products

The term "special forest products" applies to Forest resources that are not associated with timber sale contracts. To ensure a continuing supply of special forest products, the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service are working together to create uniform harvesting regulations on federally managed land in the Northwest. If you remove anything from federal land, you generally must have a "special forest products" permit. No permit is needed for "incidental" amounts of some products, for personal use: such as up to 20 pounds (2 large armloads) of greenery (boughs, ferns, salal, etc.); 8 gallons (1 bushel) or less of cones, up to 60 mushrooms or 3 gallons (whichever is less volume) of mushrooms or up to 3 gallons of Huckleberries. If you have any questions about "incidental" products, please contact the district you will be visiting. If you are removing more than “incidental amounts of a product for personal use, you must get a "personal use" permit. If you are pursuing a commercial venture, you must obtain a "commercial use" permit. Please check with the District Office nearest you for information on where to obtain the permit you need.

  • Please note the Colville National Forest does not issue commercial use permit for Huckleberrys.

Special Forest Product Price List

Minimum permit sold is $20.00 except Christmas trees.

This no longer includes fire wood permits for the duration of the free peronsal-use pilot program, see below. Excluded from this minimum permit cost are Christmas tree permits which will are $5.00 per tree. The minimum fee helps support the cost of administrating and preparation of these small sales. This minimum fee is on a national basis. There are NO REFUNDS for any Special Forest Product Permits. Prices may vary at individual districts. Prices are subject to change without notice. Permits cannot be issued to persons under 18 years of age.

See price list

Free Personal Use Firewood Authorization for 2020

In order to practice social distancing related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Colville National Forest staff will offer free personal use firewood authorizations at our offices using a self-service procedure after April 1. Partnering retailers (if open for public service) will also continue to provide free firewood authorizations. The authorization allows removal of up to 12 cords of firewood per household and is valid from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Please note the authorization obtained at a Forest Service office will not look exactly like those obtained at partnering retailers, but terms and conditions are the same as in years past and both will be valid for the 2020-2021 season. Our offices remain operational, but closed to the public.

Here’s how works:

  • Colville National Forest district offices and the headquarters in Colville will each provide a self-service station to obtain your free 12-cord authorization and firewood cutting map packet in an area accessible to the public (typically outside the visitor entrance door).
  • Visit the office during business hours to pick up a packet and take it with you. The requirement to present a valid photo ID has been waived this year.
  • Fill out the authorization before cutting firewood.
  • Follow the rules printed on the maps and the terms and conditions in the packet.
  • Record your firewood cutting activity on the firewood quantity removal record.
  • If you have questions about firewood cutting, please call the nearest Colville National Forest office.
  • Carry both the authorization and firewood cutting map with you while cutting firewood on the Colville National Forest.

If partnering businesses are open to serve the public, forest users can also obtain the 2020 free firewood cutting permit and map packet at the following locations. We recommend you call in advance to make sure stores are open and have packets on hand.

  • Harding's Hardware – Republic, WA (509) 775-2952
  • North 40 – Colville, WA (509) 684-1444
  • North 40 – Mead, WA (509) 465-8100
  • North 40 – Spokane Valley, WA (509) 922-1090
  • Selkirk Ace Hardware – Oldtown, ID (208) 437-5669

When woodcutting, always be sure to carry the fire equipment listed on the woodcutting permit and properly secure the load of wood. The required equipment listed on the Firewood Permit includes a saw with an exhaust system in good repair with a screen-type spark arrester of 0.023 inches or less and qualified under USDA Forest Service standards; a long-handled round pointed shovel with an 8-inch blade; and pressurized chemical fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounce capacity by weight.

Both the woodcutting permit and the woodcutting maps need to be in the woodcutter’s possession when gathering wood. Always check to find out what the Industrial Fire Precaution Level is before heading to the woods to do some woodcutting. This information is available at any Colville National Forest office. The best woodcutting times are in the spring and fall. Contact local Ranger District offices for details.

Christmas Tree

The $5 permit (non-refundable) allows a family to cut a tree. Permits must be purchased in person or are available by mail from the Newport Ranger District (509-447-7300) and Republic Ranger District (509-775-7400). Mail us a check or call us with a credit card. Call for details.

General guidelines for cutting a Christmas tree follow:

  • Most of the Colville National Forest is open to Christmas tree cutting. However, cutting is prohibited on privately owned and state land within the National Forest boundary, in posted plantations, campgrounds, administrative sites, and other areas where posted.
  • Please remove the entire tree, not just the top (leave no more than a 6-inch stump).
  • Each permit is for one Christmas tree only!
  • Only two permits will be issued per family.

Permits are no longer available at the Spokane Bureau of Land Management District Office, but are available from t he following vendors for the 2019 season: 

  • Newport RD: Porter's Plaza in Ione, WA and North Ridge Outfitters in Oldtown, ID
  • Republic RD: Harding's Hardware in Republic, WA
  • Spokane area: North 40 in Mead, WA on Hwy2 and North 40 on E. Trent Ave. in Millwood, WA
  • Three Rivers RD: North 40 in Colville, WA

Post and Pole

Depending on size, the uses for posts and poles is as varied as a person can invent or imagine. Pole permits are available from Ranger District offices of the Colville National Forest (keep in mind that quantities are limited on some Ranger Districts). Some green post and pole material may be available at specific Ranger Districts. Ask for details. No commercial permits available.

Beargrass

Beargrass is an evergreen shrub of the Lily family and not a grass, despite its common name. It is a long-lived plant whose leaves can grow to a length of 36 inches. The stronger, thinner, more pliable center leaves are preferred for both basket making and floral arrangements.

The minimum permit purchase price is $20 (200 lbs at 10-cents lb.). Collection areas are open starting in early to mid-June depending upon weather conditions. For information regarding locations to find Beargrass contact District offices.

Mushrooms

Permits, Requirements & Fees

  • Personal Use: There is no permit or fee required for an individual to harvest up to 3 gallons per day of mushrooms.  Mushrooms must be cut lengthwise while possessing, storing, or transporting.
  • Commercial Permit: There are currently no commercial permits available.

Mushroom Etiquette

Due to the delicate life cycle of mushrooms there are a few things you can do to protect the species in your favorite areas. These few steps may help to sustain your mushroom picking pleasure into the future: 1) Pick only two-thirds of the mushrooms you find. Do not collect mushrooms from previously harvested areas; leave the rest for seed (spores) and food for wildlife. 2) Minimize the impacts to the actual fungus by not disturbing the ground habitat. This means do not use rakes, dogs, pigs or other methods to dig mushrooms. Use a knife to cut the mushroom to minimize the impact to the fungus.

Know Your Mushrooms

Each year interest grows in harvesting wild mushrooms from National Forests. Proper identification and determination of whether a mushroom is edible is the responsibility of the picker. Many forest mushroom varieties are poisonous. There are many guide books available to assist with identification. Some forests offer field guides for sale. Your local library, county extension office, and local Mycological Society are good sources of information. Our word to the wise is: WHEN IN DOUBT... LEAVE IT IN THE WOODS!

Questions & Answers

How many gallons may my family harvest per day?

  • While you may harvest 3 gallons per day per person, we ask that you only harvest what you and your family can consume. If everyone takes the maximum amount, it will leave very little for others wishing to harvest and the wildlife that depend on mushrooms for food.

Can I sell the mushrooms I pick?

  • No. Commercial use permits are not available on the Colville National Forest

Where can I pick mushrooms?

  • Mushrooms may be harvested anywhere in the Colville National Forest unless otherwise posted. Your local Ranger District will have specific information and restrictions.
  • Burned areas will have numerous new hazards including: weakened burned trees, burning stump holes covered in ash, unstable soils, risk of rolling rocks, debris flows and hazardous road conditions. In some cases, areas will remained closed to public access due to hazards. In areas that are open, rehabilitation operations may begin in the spring and temporary closures may be enacted due to heavy equipment and aircraft working in the area.

Other Special Forest Products

Dozens of special forest products are currently in use, and new uses for theses products are being discovered every day. Scientists are finding that traditional uses for some plants are as valid today as they were in ancient times. To ensure a lasting supply of special forest products, remember that some areas/and or certain species of plants are restricted from harvesting. These restrictions ensure the continued availability of forest products from the Colville National Forest. In addition, many plants are considered sensitive, threatened for endangered.

For more information about collecting other forest products (such as cones, evergreen boughs, wildflowers, herbs, nuts and berries, moss, burls, bark, driftwood, rocks, soapstone, precious stones, agates, geodes, and garnets) please contact any Colville National Forest office.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/colville/passes-permits/forestproducts