Forest Products Permits

Permits are a way the Forest Service manages the protection of natural resources and is consistent with the Forest land and resource management goals outlined in the Forest Plan. Edible material, decorative material, minerals, plants, woody material (including Christmas tree and firewood) are all available to harvest in a forest and are managed through the use of permits in order to provide the greatest good.

Purchasing Permits

Forest Products permits must be purchased at one of our offices.

Firewood Permits

Firewood permits are available on both the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. Firewood permits are intended to be used for personal use. Permits are issued to help manage natural resources and as a way of reducing potential wildfire fuels.

Fees and Availability

Firewood permits are issued for:

  • A minimum charge of $20 (2 cords) at $10 per cord.
  • A maximum volume of 10 cords.
  • Permittee cannot cut live trees.
Rules for Harvesting
  • Only dead and down trees can be harvested.  Standing dead trees may not be cut without permission of a Forest Officer.
  • No motorized vehicles are allowed off existing roads and parking shall not block traffic.
  • Permittee shall remove all trash and litter resulting from the permittee’s activities, which include removing all woody debris, not taken as firewood, from road surfaces, ditches, and culvert openings where harvesting activities took place.
Permit Conditions
  • Permit is subject to operational closures due to weather, ground, and road conditions.
  • Permit is not valid in Timber Sale areas, designated recreation areas, or wilderness areas.
  • Permit must be in the permittee’s possession while harvesting and transporting products.
  • Permit is non-transferable.
  • Permit sale is final and not subject to refund.

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Christmas Tree Permits

The Green Mountain offers Christmas tree permits. Cutting Christmas trees on a National Forest makes an excellent winter tradition. However, due to the Forest's geography, Christmas tree permits are not issued on the Finger Lakes National Forest.

Fees and Availability

Christmas tree permits are issued under the following conditions:

  • Permit cost $5 and is non-refundable.
  • Only 1 permit issued per household per year.
  • Trees obtained under the Christmas tree permit may not be resold.
Rules for Harvesting
  • Trees over 20 feet tall are not covered by the permit.
  • The tree must be cut at a point no higher than 6 inches off the ground.
Permit Conditions
  • Permit is not valid in wilderness areas, Timber Sale areas, developed campgrounds, picnic and day use areas, interpretive trails, or within 25 feet of any Forest Service or publicly-maintained road.
  • Permit must be attached to the tree before transporting it from the site where it was cut.

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Gathering Forest Botanicals

Forest botanical products include but, are not limited to, bark, berries, boughs, bryophytes, bulbs, burls, cones, ferns, fungi (including mushrooms), forbs, grasses, mosses, nuts, pine straw, roots, sedges, seeds, shrubs, transplants, tree sap, and wildflowers can all be gathered without the need for permits on both the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests with some special restrictions for sensitive resources. Those resources include:

Restricted Products on the Green Mountain

Currently, gathering of the following plants is totally prohibited on the GMNF:

  • Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
  • Ladyslippers (Cypripedium spp.
  • Any plant listed as threatened, endangered, rare, or sensitive by the federal government, or the state of Vermont.
Watch Species

Four plants have been identified as watch species and require notification of the District Ranger if gathering is desired; gathering them may require a permit. These plants are:

  • Fiddleheads (Matteucia struthiopteris)
  • Wild leeks or ramps (Allium tricoccum)
  • Sweet grass (Hierachloe odorata)
  • Black ash (Fraxinus nigra)
Restricted Products on the Finger Lakes
Prohibited Plants and Gathering Areas

Currently, gathering of the following plants is prohibited on the FLNF

  • Any plant listed as threatened, endangered, rare, or sensitive by the federal government, or the state of New York.

Gathering of special forest products that require a permit (firewood and other wood products), whether for commercial or personal use, is prohibited in the following areas.

  • Future Old Forest
  • RNA/cRNA
  • Ecological Special Area management areas
Restricted Areas

Additionally, special forest product gathering is restricted to non-commercial activities, or incidental and personal use permit gathering.

  • Recreation/Education Special Areas
  • North Country Scenic Trail

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