Forest officials announced today commercial huckleberry permits for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest will be available beginning Mon., Aug. 8.
Due to the late snow melt and cool weather, berries in many places may not be ripe until later.
Huckleberry harvest for personal use remains free, and no permit is required. Personal use consists of three gallons of huckleberries per person per year.
All people harvesting more than three gallons, or selling any quantity, must obtain a commercial huckleberry permit. These permits are available at Ranger Districts and the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument headquarters.
The following regulations apply to commercial huckleberry permits:
• Commercial permits will be priced at $40 per permit for 14 days, or $75 for a season.
• Commercial permits will not be issued until August 8.
• All commercial huckleberry permits include camping conditions that require all garbage, and human waste to be contained and removed from National Forest land.
• A maximum of 14 days camping per site is allowed.
• Rakes or mechanical devices for berry harvest are not permitted, as they may damage plants.
A map issued with permits will show areas closed to commercial harvest. Violation of any regulation for commercial harvest is subject to a citation and fine.
Under Washington State Law, commercial buyers and sellers of huckleberries must register their sales transactions. For more details, visit the Gifford Pinchot National Forest website’s Passes and Permits page.
Berries may be harvested from most anywhere in the Forest. Some important areas closed to both commercial harvest and berry removal for personal use include the legislated Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, legislated Wilderness, and the "Handshake Agreement" area of Sawtooth Berry Fields.
Since the "Handshake Agreement" in 1932 between William Yallup, Chief of the Yakama Nation, and Gifford Pinchot Forest Supervisor K.P. Cecil, a designated area within the Sawtooth Berry Fields has been set aside for only members of the Yakama Nation to gather their traditional food and people are asked to respect this agreement.
For the safety of all forest users, berry harvesters are asked not to park vehicles in the main travel way. Remember that parking in some developed sites requires a Northwest Forest Pass.