Regional News

Morel Mushroom Harvesting Permits on Sale Soon


Apr 15, 2016

Permits go on sale April 18 for commercial harvesting of mushrooms from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Permits will be sold at local ranger stations and the forest headquarters office.

People must have a commercial permit if they plan to collect or possess more than five gallons of mushrooms per day or if they intend to sell mushrooms.  A two-day permit costs $30, a 30-day permit is $80 and a season permit is $100; the season runs from April 18 through July 31.  Permits must be in the harvester’s possession when collecting mushrooms. 

Commercial harvesting information sheets, translated in five languages, and maps showing the general location of burned areas, closure areas and commercial harvester camps are available online and at local national forest offices.

Four areas will be designated as commercial mushroom harvester camps—North Summit Sno-Park and Black Canyon Sno-Park on the Methow Valley Ranger District; a dispersed campsite at Peony Camp next to the Peony Seed Orchard and Lyman Lake Campground on the Tonasket Ranger District.  Commercial mushroom harvesters will be directed to use these locations when staying overnight in the national forest.

Commercial harvesting of mushrooms may occur in most areas of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. “There are some areas where commercial harvesting is prohibited,” said Resources/Planning Staff Officer Stuart Woolley.  “These areas include Wilderness areas, research natural areas, administrative sites, botanical areas, scenic corridors, developed recreation sites, campgrounds, and those places under area closures,” he said.

No commercial or personal use mushroom harvesting will be permitted in portions of the Wolverine Fire near Lucerne, Domke Lake and Holden Village; also, the upper Entiat River Road will be closed to all use just past Shady Pass Road.  These areas remain closed to public access due to hazards from potential debris flows.  Often called mudslides, debris flows are water-saturated landslides that travel rapidly downslope carrying trees, rocks and other debris threatening people in their path and cutting off roads with little or no warning.

Harvesting mushrooms for personal use is free but collectors must now carry a copy of the Free Incidental Use Mushroom Information Sheet with them while harvesting. This information sheet can be printed off the forest website at http://go.usa.gov/ct6Ej and is also available at local national forest offices.

The amount of mushrooms that a person may collect for personal use from the national forest has increased to five gallons.  “Previously, people were allowed to collect only three gallons per person per day but that amount has now increased to five gallons per day,” Woolley said.  “The change allows this forest to be consistent with some other Washington State, Federal, and private permitting which allows five gallons per person per day for personal use,” he said.

The growing season for morel mushrooms begins as soon as snow melts and continues through July depending upon elevation, slope aspect and precipitation.  The exact start date for harvest will depend upon when mushrooms begin to appear in fire areas.

For more information about commercial or personal use mushroom harvesting, or area, trail or road closures, please contact any Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office during business hours 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or go to the forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/okawen/mushroom .   


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