Miscellaneous Forest Products Permits
People may harvest a range of miscellaneous forest products from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources properties, including Christmas trees, boughs, fine woody material (including small diameter trees and twigs) and firewood. A forest products permit provides the public with the opportunity to harvest for recreation, personal use or in some cases as a source of income. Permits enable the DNR to more effectively manage and regulate the harvest of these products, thus protecting the resources and reducing possible environmental impacts.
Anyone interested in a forest products permit should contact the specific DNR property before harvesting to find out property-specific regulations and obtain a permit. Individuals are required to have an approved Forest Products Permit Form 2460-008 issued by the property manager.
If gathering is allowed on the property, you can obtain a permit on-site. Some properties will allow you to mail the needed permit information (name, address, product) and payment and will send an approved permit via email. Call the property to check which method(s) you may use and for help in permit guidance. There is a small permit fee for each type of product.
Christmas tree permits
Christmas trees can be cut with a permit and can only be used for personal use. Permits include several conditions and each property may have specific conditions depending on the property type. Generally, trees cannot be cut near roads, trails or lakes or within designated recreation areas. Permit price may vary slightly from property to property, but is generally $5 per tree. Trees must be cut flush to the ground.
Boughs can be cut with a permit and can be used for personal or commercial use. Permits include several conditions and each property may have specific conditions depending on the property type. Generally, trees cannot be cut near roads, trails or lakes or within designated recreation areas. For personal use, boughs must weigh less than 1 ton. If weight exceeds 1 ton, then it shall be considered a commercial product and other conditions would apply. A Commercial Permit allows for the permittee and crew to cut boughs. A Commercial Permit can utilize a statewide rate of: $75 minimum for permit and the first two tons $25 extra for each additional ton. The permittee should be present on site when cutting boughs.
Firewood can be cut with a permit and can only be used for personal use. Permits include several conditions and each property may have specific conditions depending on the property type. Generally, trees cannot be cut near roads, trails or lakes or within designated recreation areas and may consist of both dead and downed trees, as well as designated live trees, but varies by property. Permit price may vary slightly from property to property, but is generally $20 per cord, with a maximum of tens cords.
Fine woody material
Fine woody material is defined as woody material, living or dead, less than 4 inches diameter inside the bark at the large end. Common forest products that may be harvested under the fine woody material permit include, but are not limited to, tree saplings, birch "poles," cherry burls, decorative twigs and branches.
Permits will only be issued in designated areas identified on a map and only in areas consistent with management objectives. Areas where harvesting may be consistent with management objectives include: along existing or old logging roads planned to be opened or maintained for timber management, utility line corridors, gravel pits, wildlife openings, recreational trails (ATV, snowmobile and cross-country trails) or areas planned to be burned. Permits will not be issued in forested stands or any area where such harvest would be inconsistent with the areas management objective.
Value will be determined on a lump sum basis for the whole tree, including stem and branches, and based on an estimate of the total number of tress in the defined area. Prices will range from 25 cents to $1 per tree and will be adjusted based on property, access and tree diameter.
Requests for permits may be made directly to the property manager. For properties with a high demand for a specific product, the property manager will identify harvest areas in advance and announce availability to interested individuals and businesses. If there are multiple interested parties, permits will be issued based on a random selection for each harvest area in order of offering. If the first drawn chooses not to accept the permit the second drawn would be awarded the permit. DNR Conservation Wardens will be notified when permits are issued, including the location and permit dates.
Edible fruits, edible nuts, wild mushrooms, wild asparagus and watercress may be removed by hand without a permit for the purpose of personal consumption by the collector. "Edible fruits" means fleshy fruits from plants including apples, plums, pears, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, juneberries and strawberries that are harvested for human consumption. "Edible nuts" means walnuts, hickory nuts, acorns and other similar nuts from trees and shrubs.