Christmas Tree Permits
Christmas Tree Permits are available online at Recreation.gov!
November 2023 News Release
The holiday season is often time for families and friends to head to the woods to play in the snow and to cut the traditional family Christmas Tree. Lifelong memories are built during these special times and the Payette National Forest is happy to help with any information gathering you'll need to make this trip a safe and enjoyable one.
If an unusually heavy snowfall occurs and Forest roads become a safety concern for the public, some areas may be closed early to Christmas tree gathering. Forest roads are not plowed. Call ahead and check websites for road conditions before heading out. Please do not block private or county roadways at any time.
Free Christmas Tree Permits to 4th Graders!
In coordination with the “Every Kid Outdoors” program, fourth-graders who are participating in the Every Kid Outdoors program can receive a free Christmas tree permit. First, go to https://everykidoutdoors.gov/index.htm and complete the application process for a pass, print the pass and call a Forest Service office for curbside service. If using the online system at recreation.gov, enter the pass number when prompted. Free Christmas tree permit for the Every Kid Outdoors program are not available at local vendors, and cannot be sent through the mail.
A few simple guidelines to improve safety:
- Review the brochure provided with your permit.
- Practice winter survival and driving techniques.
- Bring the right tools, such as a saw and a shovel, so the tree can be cut to within 6” of the ground’s surface.
- Take along emergency equipment, plenty of food and water, and try to use a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you are planning to travel in snowy country.
- Always inform family or friends of the route you intend to take, include a map of your destination, and the time that you plan to be gone.
- Be prepared for the possibility of a long hike or snowmobile ride while searching for the perfect tree.
- According to Idaho state law, any vehicle carrying a load that extends more than 4 feet past the tailgate, must display a red or florescent orange flag tied on the end of the load to caution other drivers.
Mushroom Picking Permit
At this time, no Commercial Mushroom Permits are available.
Mushroom gathering is best, as soon as the snow melts, in areas that have been burned or had ground disturbance within 2-3 years. The first year is usually the best.
2022 Mushroom Picking General Guidelines within the Payette National Forest
At this time, mushroom picking is for personal use only, and no permit required.
2022 PERSONAL USE HARVESTING
Personal use harvesting - applies:
Pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50 (e), the following persons are exempt from this order: (0402-00-50):
Persons may personal harvest up to 5 gallons of morel mushrooms per person and possess up to 10 gallons per person per day.
The mushrooms are used for non-commercial purposes only.
Mushrooms are not to be sold for profit.
The best times for successful mushroom gathering are dependent upon the picking area. Mushrooms emerge in the spring when moisture, soil, aspect, snow levels and temperatures are just right. Generally the season starts in late May and extends through June.
Most often the best location for mushrooms is in areas that were burned or the soil was disturbed the previous year. Sometimes there are mushrooms found two-three years after the burn, although usually the first year is generally the optimal season. The spring snow pack helps determine the amount and timing of mushroom growth. Snow melt can greatly influence when, and for how long, mushrooms survive.