We are pleased to have this opportunity to share with you information about the Special Forest Products Program on the Rogue River - Siskiyou National Forest.
We hope this information will make it easier for you to obtain a permit and use these products for personal, commercial or scientific purposes in a manner that maintains these resources for your future harvest and for future generations of harvesters.
The term "Special Forest Products" applies to forest species that are harvested for other than timber products. A variety of species are currently harvested and used in various ways and new uses for forest species are commonly discovered or re-learned from traditional uses and from other cultures. Products derived from forest species range from berries, mushrooms, and plants used for personal consumption to products used as decorative plant arrangements, landscaping plants, and Christmas wreaths. Other common uses include the use of plants for their medicinal properties and plants used for educational displays or for scientific research.
A variety of products are currently harvested on the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest. Some of the more common products that we issue permits for are Christmas trees; firewood; edible mushrooms; evergreen boughs and other cuttings; beargrass and other foliage; dry cones for decorative arrangements; posts and poles for fencing; and transplant trees and plants.
Other products that can be removed in a sound, sustainable manner may be considered for removal.
Sustaining A Tradition
Harvesting forest species in a manner that maintains important ecological interactions and allows species affected to reproduce successfully into the future helps to ensure that you and others will be able to enjoy your craft over the years and that the potential for the next generation to experience the same opportunity continues.
The amount of Special Forest Products harvested on the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest is limited through our permitting system to help foster the viability of the species harvested and to account for important ecological interactions such as those between special forest product species and pollinators, wildlife, and other plants.
As a harvester you can help maintain a respected tradition by supporting sustainable management and conservation of these species through your strict adherence to your permits conditions and through your use of Low-impact /Ecologically Sensitive Collection Techniques.
In general it is important to harvest in a manner that minimizes disturbance to the forest floor’s leaf layer and soil and to harvest only what you can reasonably use or sell while not gathering too much from any one site (ex. mushroom patch) or any one plant (ex. bough or leaf gathering). A good harvest site has no trash, litter, or visible human waste and is difficult to tell apart from the surrounding forest to a casual observer. For the protection of species and to ensure your health, it is also vitally important for you to be able to correctly identify species.
Many areas open to the harvest of special forest products are relatively remote and have challenging terrain. Please take necessary precautions for your specific circumstances while searching for and harvesting special forest products. Here are some general safety tips:
Always let someone know where you plan to be and when you expect to return.
Check weather and road conditions before leaving home.
Be prepared for unexpected and rapidly changing weather.
Some public roads are not maintained in the winter.
Some public roads are only drivable by high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles.
Carry tire chains, a saw, shovel, gloves, boots, flashlight, first aid kit, additional water and food, and other appropriate equipment and supplies.
Observe all fire regulations and closures, carry the required fire tools, and stay updated to current fire weather conditions and adhere to current fire precautions.
Conditions and Condsiderations:
Before you obtain your permit you should be aware of all the conditions that apply to your specific permit. These include, but are not limited to, the following conditions that apply to all our special forest product permits:
Permit sales are final; please be aware that once they are issued, permits cannot be refunded and permits cannot be transferred.
Permit must be in the possession of the Permittee both while harvesting and transporting products. Copies are not allowed.
The permit termination date makes the permit invalid even if you have not harvested any product or have not harvested the full amount of product the permit allows. The termination date cannot be changed at any time.
You can only collect the forest product that is specified on the permit and only collect from the area(s) specified on your permit.
You must record the time, date, and amount of product removed on your permit and on your load ticket before you move the product off the harvest site. You must attach your filled out load ticket so that it is clearly visible from the rear of your vehicle.
The harvest or transport of products collected under any free-use cannot take place while any person present in your group is harvesting or transporting the same product(s) under a charge permit.
All vehicles must be cleared of soil, seeds, and plants prior to entering National Forest lands to prevent the spread of disease, insects, and invasive plants.
Please, carefully consider your schedule and the timing of harvest before you purchase your permit; the termination date makes your permit no longer valid. Consider who will actually do the harvesting; they will have to be the ones who obtain the permit and will have to carry it with them.
Please, make sure that you reference the map or legal description specific to your permit to know what areas are open to harvest. You must carry your permit and any associated map with you at all times while harvesting and transporting products. All permits must have either a legal description or a map in order to be valid. Please make sure you understand where the permit is valid and where you are located when collecting.
Before you leave your collection site, make sure you permanently mark the date, time, and amount of product you have harvested on your permit and load ticket. Any associated load tickets must be validated prior to transporting products off the harvest site. Before you drive off, make sure you have securely attached your load ticket(s) so that it is clearly visible from the back of your vehicle and keep your permit with you at all times.
Oregon law (OR Statute 164.813) requires that a permit be carried when transporting special forest products and requires that records of purchases be kept for one year from date of purchase for permittees that engage in reselling of products.
A permit must be obtained prior to removing forest products. As part of issuing a permit, customer are informed of appropriate precautions, laws, regulations and other conditions pertaining to the particular product. These instructions help customers remove the product in a fair and ecologically sound manner.
Some product permits require payment. With the exception of personal-use Christmas tree permits, which have a minimum charge of $5, the minimum cost for charge permits is $20 per permit. The total permit cost will depend on the product and the amount purchased. Refer to our Product Price List for current special forest product prices.
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest appraises its special forest products to ensure fair and equitable prices are being charged for permits. The appraisal follows Forest Service national and regional standards and uses the fair market value, calculated as the average wholesale price paid to harvesters reduced by a rollback factor that accounts for risk, and then subtracts harvest costs from it. Harvest costs are calculated by considering wages and transportation costs based on average production rates and distance to purchasing wholesalers relative to the product’s accessibility on the forest.
When supply is not limited and value is low, free use may be available for small amounts of some special forest products that are strictly for one’s direct personal use. For exceedingly small quantities of some special forest products that provide for immediate consumption or for generally unplanned, spontaneous use of products associated with a recreational forest outing or visit, a permit may not be required. Materials gathered under Incidental Free Use cannot be sold or exchanged in any form. Refer to the Incidental-Use Guide for a list of products and amounts that may be collected under Incidental-Use conditions.
How To Get A Permit
Recreational Christmas tree permits and mushroom permits can be obtained at any forest office. All other permits must be obtained at the Ranger District office where you will harvest the product.
If you wish to obtain Special Forest Products, please contact the office where you will obtain the permit from. Not all products are available on all Ranger Districts of the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest. Please call ahead to make certain that the product you are interested in is available and that someone will be available to help you before you visit a Forest office to purchase a permit.
Before heading out to an office please keep in mind…
Areas open to harvest of special forest products may change from time to time. Changes are made in order to protect a variety of resources and to ensure the sustainability of the Special Forest Products program.
Prices are subject to change without notice as they are re-appraised to reflect market changes and/or harvest costs. Please check our Product Price List or call our office for the most current pricing information prior to making a purchase decision.
All the products listed on our price list may not be available on every district or at any given time. Be aware that the availability of products is often limited and availability may change as often as daily depending on the product. Please, contact the District office where you are interested in harvesting on to see if the product you have an interest in is available at that specific time.
A pictured United States federal or state identification card or a foreign Passport is required to obtain a permit. Each individual person harvesting special forest products must obtain a permit; only the person on the permit may harvest products. The individual obtaining the permit must be present and must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
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