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You can collect driftwood, but there are rules

My daughter and family just moved to Corvallis from California. She is now a professor there. I have gone up to visit a couple of times already, and on the way home I stopped at a few of your beautiful beaches. While there I picked up driftwood and made things with it (baby mobile and a succulent-plant holder). I make crafts and would like to know if it is legal if I sell the items in California, and if so, is there any kind of permits I might need. Sorry for bothering you, I just would like to know if this is legal.

— Lila K., by email

No bother, Lila, we're happy to help out a new Oregonian's kin. The answer to your question is, yes, it is legal, but it does require some paperwork.

There are different rules for collecting natural items from the beach, depending on whether it's for personal or commercial use. According to state rules (OAR 736-021-0090) people may collect "small quantities' of nonliving items without a permit. Those quantities are defined as (daily quantities): a 1-gallon container of stones, shells and loose fossils, a 5-gallon container of sand and 1 cubic yard of driftwood (up to three cords per year). Driftwood removal is restricted to wood that can be loaded by hand and wood that is not embedded in the beach or dune banks.

There are different rules for collecting living plants. Anyone who wants to collect quantities greater than allowed in the rules must obtain a permit from the state Parks and Recreation Department.

To your question, Lila, a permit is also required for collecting any amount of natural items from the beach for commercial purposes. There is a fee for the permit, the amount of which is dependent on the amount of items expected to be gathered by the applicant.

Kind of sounds like a hassle to us. You might be better off collecting a few items for personal use and making presents for your new Oregonian family members.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.