Chequamegon-Nicolet N.F. Special Forest Products on the Chequamegon-Nicolet
Gathering Special Forest Products on the Chequamegon-Nicolet
Questions and Answers
Q: What kind of products can I obtain on the Forest?
A: There are many forest products that can be purchased with a Forest Products Removal Permit. Free Use Permits may also be issued for a small amount of a product that is intended for personal use only. While the most popular products purchased are Christmas Trees, Boughs, and Firewood, several other products such as princess pine, birch bark and assorted twigs and stems can be purchased under a Forest Products Removal or Free Use Permit. The best way to find out more about what you can obtain, either free or for a fee, is to contact any of our District Offices.
Q: Can I gather these products anywhere on the Forest?
A: No. Harvesting of all plants and other products is prohibited in Research Natural Areas, Candidate Research Natural Areas, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness study areas, administrative sites, developed recreation sites, wetlands, within 100 feet of trails that are within one half mile of developed campgrounds, within 100 feet of water bodies, in Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized areas, the Oconto River Seed Orchard, and the Riley Lake and Moquah Barrens areas. Each district office will issue you a map along with your permit or permits. The map displays areas where you can't remove trees, boughs, or firewood. Your best bet is to have a permit issued where you plan to use it. To view a map of the general forest vicinity, click HERE.
Q: Are there certain Forest products I can't gather?
A: Yes. Any plants found on the Regional Forester's Spensitive Species List for the Chequamegon-Nicolet are not available for collection under a Forest Products Removal or Free Use Permit. Also, see below for additional gathering restrictions as they apply to Christmas trees, boughs, and firewood.
Q: How can I tell if I'm on National Forest land when I'm gathering forest products?
A: You can't in most cases. Wisconsin does not require landowners to post their land. It's important for you to know where you are, since private property is scattered throughout the forest. Maps with a variety of scales may be purchased at any District Office.
Many people enjoy the experience of hiking in the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree. While the trees in the forest are not professionally trimmed or groomed, many enjoy them for their natural appearance. The most popular tree species is balsam fir, which is plentiful and retains needles very well. Balsam firs are not as abundant on the Washburn District, and, as a result, red and scotch pines are preferred. Permits are issued from late fall to the end of December.
Cost: $5.00 per tree (limit of 5 trees per person). A transportation tag will be issued for each tree, which must be attached to the tree prior to loading and hauling.
1. The permit must be in your possession when cutting the Christmas tree.
Balsam boughs are the only types of boughs that can be harvested. If you only need a small amount of boughs for your personal use, a Free Use Permit can usually be issued. Contact your local District Office for more information. Permits are usually issued in late fall to early winter.
Cost: $80.00 for up to 2 tons of material. Additional material
may be purchased with a new permit for $40.00 per ton. Transportation
authorization tags are issued in denominations of 200 pounds/tag.
1. The permit is valid for the permittee and their immediate family (including:
spouse, children, parents of permittees and adults individuals living
together at the same residence). Immediate family members must be listed
on the permit.
A Forest Products Removal Permit (FS-2400-1) is required for gathering firewood. District Rangers shall not grant free use unless it is clearly in the interest of the government to do so as described in 36CFR-223.5.
Any firewood gathered with this paid permit system may be sold or used for personal use.
Please also note that the Chequamegon-Nicolet NF has issued A FIREWOOD RESTRICTION ORDERthat bans the possession, storage, or transport of any firewood that originates from outside the state of Wisconsin or more than 25 miles from the destination point. The exception would be firewood collected from the CNNF.
This has been issued in an effort to stop the spread of invasive insects such as the emerald ash borer.
Cost: Currently, the charge is $5.00 per cord, with a four (4) cord minimum (1 cord equals 4' x 4' x 8'). TSA requirement: Product – Fuel wood, Code 07; Unit of Measure – CCF, Code 03.
Firewood may be gathered without a permit by persons camping in developed or dispersed National Forest recreation sites, with the quantity limited to an amount needed at the site. Such firewood collected must remain in the recreation site and may not be removed from the National Forest recreation site.