Forest Products Permits
The gathering of Forest products for personal use, such as mushrooms, posts & poles, rocks etc. is free, but some will require a hard copy personal use permit. For details, call your local Ranger Station, listed to the left.
People enjoy collecting mushrooms, berries, seedlings and other items from National Forest System land.
In order become familiar with the rules, it is always best to check with the Idaho Panhandle National Forest before gathering/collecting items from National Forest System land.
All plants on National Forest System lands, from tiny lichens to the largest trees, belong to the American public. Just as the Forest Service sells timber, harvesting plant materials that are of value must be purchased for a fair market value with the proceeds going to the U.S. Treasury. Permits are sometimes required to provide guidelines for appropriate collection, make collectors aware of any restrictions in collecting and to display the appropriate fee.
Please click on the following product headings to learn more.
Huckleberries and morel mushrooms are prized wild foods on the IPNF. There is no fee required for recreational picking of berries, or collecting other plant material like beargrass, but some areas may have special restrictions in place. There may be limits on the amount that you collect. It is always best to check with the local Ranger District or Supervisor's Office before gathering or collecting items from the Forest.
Commercial gathering of huckleberries and commercial harvesting of mushrooms is NOT permitted on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.
Check out our huckleberry harvesting page for more information.
The Idaho Panhandle National Forests is requiring mushroom harvesting permits in order to appropriately manage mushroom harvesting activities, monitor use, and protect resources. Mushrooms may be harvested anywhere in your National Forest unless otherwise restricted. Each Ranger District will have specific information on any area closures or restrictions. Permits will be available at Forest Service offices. The type of permit you need depends on how many mushrooms you intend to harvest:
Incidental use, no permit required
- Harvest less than one gallon a day and no more than five gallons per season
Personal use (free) permit
- Harvest up to 5 gallons a day and up to 20 gallons per season
Additional mushroom rules
Commercial use is not authorized. Reselling of harvested mushrooms is prohibited. In order to distinguish personal or incidental use from commercial collecting, all mushrooms must be sliced in half length-wise from stem to cap before leaving the harvest area. Each person over the age of 12 are required to obtain a free use permit if they are gathering more than the “incidental” amounts. Minors (12 and under) may assist in the collection of mushrooms, but must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or sponsoring adult and have their permit in possession.
Mushroom Hunter Helper
This interactive web map can help you find past wildfire and prescribed fire activities have taken place for the purpose of personal use mushroom gathering. Review all rules and guidelines regarding the specific areas and mushroom permit requirements for the indiviudal national forest(s) you will be going to and know how to stay safe while recreating in burned areas. Common Hazards while Recreating in Post-Fire Landscapes (5/4/18, 49 kb)
Please refer to our Gathering Firewood page for complete firewood gathering information.
Christmas tree permits can be purchased online at Recreation.gov from October through December.
No permit is required if your collecting will cause little or no surface disturbance (e.g., gold panning - dry wash or manual pan, or rock-hounding). More extensive operations will require permitting and/or operation plans. Read our Rockhounding on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests brochure (pdf) for more complete guidelines and information.