As August approaches, many in the Northwest look forward to collecting huckleberries and other wild berries on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest! Forest managers 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 way to obtain a 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.
Huckleberries are found throughout the Gifford Pinchot National Forest; however, some areas are closed to huckleberry collection for personal and/or commercial use. The following important areas are closed to all berry removal:
- The legislated Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
- All legislated Wildernesses (although berries may be picked and consumed while in the Wilderness)
- The “Handshake Agreement” area of Sawtooth Berry Fields. (The northern portion of the Sawtooth Berry Fields is closed to all berry picking by the public. This area is reserved for members of the Yakama Nation to gather their traditional foods since 1932.)
Beginning Monday, August 14, commercial use berry permits will be available for purchase at Ranger District offices in Randle, Amboy, and Trout Lake through walk-up service windows. Check the forest website for locations and hours of operation: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/gp/officehours.
The following regulations apply to commercial charge use berry permits:
- Permits cost $60 for 14 consecutive days and up to 40 gallons, or $105 and up to 70 gallons 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 commercial charge use permit collection. (This map can also obtained for free by downloading the free Avenza maps app to your mobile device, and uploading the Gifford Pinchot NF – Special Forest Products Map: https://store.avenza.com/products/gifford-pinchot-nf-special-forest-products-map-us-forest-service-pacific-northwest-region-waor-map.)
- Permittees may camp for up to 14 days, but not within any area closed to commercial charge use berry collection.
- Commercial picking is not allowed in the Pole Patch Non-Commercial Harvesting Area on the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District.
Under Washington State law, berry buyers and sellers must document their sales transactions. Violation of any regulation for berry permits is subject to a citation and fine. For more details, please visit the Forest’s permits page: www.fs.usda.gov/main/giffordpinchot/passes-permits/forestproducts.
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. View our dispersed camping guidelines and rules to learn more: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/gp/dispersed.
For the safety of all forest users, berry harvesters are asked to make sure their vehicles are not parked within the roadway. This can block access to other visitors and create safety hazards. Park on durable surfaces within one car length of the shoulder of the road.
Remember, some developed recreation sites charge a day use fee. View a list of recreation sites at Gifford Pinchot National Forest that charge a fee: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/gp/dayusefee.
Fire Restrictions are in effect across the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire or charcoal fire is prohibited outside of designated developed campgrounds. For more information, please visit: www.fs.usda.gov/main/giffordpinchot/fire.