Vancouver — With a "normal to good season" expected, commercial permits to collect huckleberries in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest will be available starting Aug. 13, forest officials announced this week.
Anyone harvesting more than three gallons of huckleberries -- or selling any quantity -- must obtain a commercial permit. Commercial permits cost $40 for 14 days, or $75 for a season. Rakes or mechanical devices for berry harvest are prohibited.
Huckleberry harvest for personal use is free, and requires no permit. But personal harvesters can't gather more than three gallons of huckleberries per person per year, according to the forest service.
People can buy commercial permits at Gifford Pinchot ranger districts or the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument headquarters in Amboy.
Huckleberries at lower elevations are just starting to ripen, according to the forest service. Berries at higher elevations should ripen later this summer.