Vancouver, WA– As August approaches, many in the Northwest look forward to collecting huckleberries and other wild berries on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Forest staff would like to remind the public that a permit is required to remove any amount of berries from the Forest.
A free-use permit for personal consumption is available to remove up to one gallon of berries per day and a total of three gallons per year. Berries obtained under a free-use permit may not be sold. There is no cost for free-use permits. To apply for a free-use berry permit, visit: https://apps.fs.usda.gov/gp. This is the only means to obtain this free-use permit. Remember to print your permit or save it to your mobile device, along with conditions for use, and a map of the locations open to free-use berry collection.
Some important areas on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest closed to all berry removal include the legislated Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, all legislated Wildernesses, and the “Handshake Agreement” area of Sawtooth Berry Fields.
Beginning Monday, August 10, commercial charge berry permits will be available for purchase. All people removing more than one gallon per day, more than three gallons per year, or selling any quantity of berries must obtain a commercial charge permit.
Commercial charge permits will be sold in-person at the Ranger District offices and the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters on Monday August 10. Thereafter, charge permits may be obtained from these offices over the phone or by mail. Availability of walk-in services at each office are subject to change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please follow social distancing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control by wearing a mask when entering a Forest Service facility and maintaining a six feet minimum distance from others. If you are feeling sick, stay home and remember to keep hands clean.
The following regulations apply to charge berry permits:
- Permits cost $60 for 14 consecutive days, or $105 for the season.
- Rakes or mechanical devices to remove berries are not permitted.
- A map is issued with each permit indicating areas open or closed to charge permit collection. This map can also be viewed online for free by uploading the Avenza app, and searching for and uploading “Gifford Pinchot NF – Special Forest Products Map.”
- Permittees may camp for up to 14 days, but not within any area closed to charge berry collection.
- All garbage and human waste are to be contained and removed from the Forest. Remember to pack out what you pack in to keep places healthy and accessible for other users.
Under Washington State law, berry buyers and sellers must document their sales transactions. For more details, visit the Forest’s permits page: www.fs.usda.gov/main/giffordpinchot/passes-permits/forestproducts.
Violation of any regulation for berry permits is subject to a citation and fine. For the safety of all forest users, berry harvesters are asked not to park vehicles in the roadway. Remember that parking in some developed recreation sites require a valid recreation pass.