Forest Products Permits

There are so many great reasons to visit the Forest, including harvesting wood, mushrooms and more!  Scroll down to learn about personal firewood permits, post and pole permits, Christmas tree permits mushroom permits, and rock permits.

Personal Use Firewood Permit

  • Permit year January 1-December 31, 2022
  • Cost: permits are currently free until the end of 2022
  • Minimum purchase: 4 cord
  • Maximum purchase: 12 cord

Free-use firewood permits will continue to be issued for the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest from January 1 to December 31, 2022. Permits are required as they help to track harvesting and communicate important wildfire safety and collection information.  Free, hard-copy permits can be issued by mail by calling your local Ranger Station. In-person pickup at Ranger Stations may also be available. 

Permits are valid on National Forest lands in Region 1. You must keep your permit on the dashboard of your vehicle where it is visible through the windshield. To cut firewood for someone else (third party), authorization must be approved when purchasing the permit.  A lost or stolen permit cannot be replaced or the fee refunded. You must have a valid drivers license or photo ID to purchase.

Firewood Reminders

  • Make certain you are cutting on the national forest. Your permit is only valid on public, national forest system lands. 
  • Do Not Cut firewood in recreation areas, campgrounds,summer home areas,in active timber sales,and in other areas of concentrated use. 
  • Firewood is defined as dead wood- standing or on the ground.
  • Cut a standing dead tree close to the ground, only leaving a low stump.
  • Scatter debris generated from wood gathering away from ditches, streams, and roadways.
  • Fire regulations require that chainsaw operators have a serviceable fire extinguisher and shovel available at all times. Saws must be equipped with an approved spark arresting screen.
  • Be prepared for sudden weather changes and adverse road conditions. 
  • Refer to the forest travel plan to avoid unexpected closures.

Post & Pole Permit

A permit is required to harvest posts and/or poles from National Forest Service lands. Please contact your local Forest Service office for more information.

Christmas Tree Permit

Christmas tree permits will be available online through Rec.gov or at select district offices for the 2022 holiday season starting November 1 through December 31. Learn more

Tips for making your outing a success......

  • Do not cut in recreation areas or widely space, previously thinned stands. the uniform spacing of tress and obvious stumps identifies thinned areas.
  • Do not cut in designated wilderness areas,campgrounds, within 100 feet of a well traveled roads, in summer home areas, active timber sale areas, and in other areas of concentrated use.
  • Cut your tree close to the ground, leaving a stump less than 10 inches in height. Remove all the limbs on the remaining stump.
  • Select a tree no taller than 12 feet. never cut the top out of a large tree.
  • Consider cutting your tree as early as possible before snowfall closes your favorite areas.
  • Be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions and adverse road surfaces.

Mushroom Permit

A permit may be required to harvest mushrooms from National Forest Service lands within the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest during the 2022 season.  Please contact your local Forest Service office for more information.  

Visit our regional page for 2022 mushroom information

Useful forest-specific maps of 2021 fire footprints where mushrooms may be more prolific this summer:

Morel Mushrooms

Rock Collection Permit

A permit is required to harvest rocks or minerals from National Forest Service lands. Please contact your local Forest Service office for more information.

Last updated: May 19, 2022