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 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://gp.fs2c.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 8, commercial charge use berry permits will be available for purchase at Ranger District offices and the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters through walk-up service windows. Check the forest website for locations and hours of operation https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/giffordpinchot/about-forest/offices.
COVID-19 precautions: If the county where you plan to purchase your permit has a Covid-19 community level of high, please be prepared with mask and the need to social distance (6 ft.). Please use the following link, COVID-19 by County | CDC to determine Covid-19 community levels by county.
The following regulations apply to commerical charge use 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 use 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 use 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: https://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 requires a Northwest Forest Pass.
Forest managers remind the public to be careful with fire. Never leave a campfire unattended. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave. Always check for current fire conditions or restrictions on the Forest’s Fire Information web page: www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/giffordpinchot/home/?cid=fseprd593760&width=full.