Forest Products Permits

Collection of forest products is currently prohibited in the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area. 

Why is collection prohibited?

While the Scenic Area, like all National Forests, does have authority to implement a Special Forest Products program, this authority is conditioned upon compliance with existing Forest Service law, regulation and policy concerning such matters. Proposed actions to harvest special forest products are subject to the National Environmental Policy Act. Other pertinent laws include the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, which requires that natural resources be managed in such a manner that there is not impairment of the productivity of the land, and the Endangered Species Act which requires coordination and consultation with biologists and botanists concerning plants that are being considered for harvest. Activities must also be in compliance with the Mt. Hood National Forest Plan, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest Plan, the Columbia River Gorge Management Plan, and the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP). The NWFP states that special forest product activities must be evaluated to determine whether these activities have adverse effects on Late Successional Reserve objectives. Without the proper environmental analysis and compliance with the above requirements, the Scenic Area cannot issue permits or authorize the collection of special forest products.

Why hasn’t the environmental analysis been done?

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is a relatively new administrative unit, having been established on November 17, 1986 by Public Law 99-663. Past priorities of Land Management Plan development and land acquisition, and current priorities involving mitigation of damaging activities and at-risk ecosystems in the Scenic Area have deferred the development of a special forest products program.

Where can I collect mushrooms and other forest products?

Both the Mt. Hood National Forest and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest allow for collection of certain special forest products. Permits are often required which include specified conditions and locations for such collections. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to know authorized locations, conditions and guidelines, and to comply with all requirements. If you have any questions, you are encouraged to contact the District Office nearest to where you want to collect to obtain a complete list of available special forest products, information on whether a permit is required and where to obtain one, approved collection locations and applicable conditions for collections.