Category Archives: Mushrooms

Mushrooms: Tips for sustainable harvests on National Forest lands

The fungus Morchella angusticeps Peck (Black morels). Photographed in Peace River Area, British Columbia, Canada. Courtesy photo by Johannes Harnisch, used with permission in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-SA 3.0). All other rights reserved.

Mushroom hunting is a hobby for some, and a business opportunity for others. To ensure that mushroom hunting can continue for years to come, land managers must ensure those harvests happen at a sustainable pace.

That’s why the USDA Forest Service requires permits for both commercial and hobbyist mushroom hunters before collecting mushrooms from National Forest System lands.

What permits are required, and how many are available, varies because conditions on forests vary. Even within a single forest, one species of mushroom may be plentiful, while another species must be managed more closely to ensure enough are left for others, and for wildlife.

On many Pacific Northwest forests, a limited quantity of mushrooms can be collected for personal use with a “free use” permit. These permits are issued at no cost to the user, but the permit requirement helps land managers to track harvest activity and monitor conditions in the areas.

Commercial permits allow for larger harvests, and for resale of mushrooms collected on public lands. These permits which are typically more closely managed to reduce the chance of potential land-use conflicts with other commercial users and recreational visitors.

Additional info:

Find information about spring, 2019 mushroom season permit requirements in the Blue Mountains (Umatilla, Malheur, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests) at this link:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/malheur/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD627924

For information about spring, 2019 mushroom season permits on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, visit:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/okawen/passes-permits/?cid=STELPRDB5415105&width=full

If you have questions about permit requirements for other National Forests, reach out to the district office or visitors center that serves the area you are interested in hunting mushrooms on. You can find links to websites for all National Forests in Washington and Oregon at
https://www.fs.usda.gov/contactus/r6/about-region/contactus

Resources:

If you’re interested in mushroom hunting as a hobby, your local mycological society can be a great resource. You’ll want to learn what mushrooms are safe to eat, which aren’t, and what rules apply to harvesting in the areas where you’ll be hunting. Never eat a mushroom that you cannot positively identify – many poisonous mushrooms closely resemble species that are safe to eat!

Mycological Societies & Mushroom Club websites serving Washington & Oregon:

North American Mycological Society:
https://www.namyco.org/clubs.php

Oregon Mycological Society:
https://www.wildmushrooms.org/

Willamette Valley Mushroom Society:
https://www.wvmssalem.org/

Cascade Mycological Society:
https://cascademyco.org/

Southwest Washington Mycological Society:
http://swmushrooms.org/

Northwest Mushroomers Association:
https://www.northwestmushroomers.org/

Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society:
https://kitsapmushrooms.org/

Snohomish County Mycological Society:
http://www.scmsfungi.org/

Olympic Peninsula Mycological Society:
https://olymushroom.org/

Cascade Mycological Society:
https://cascademyco.org/resources-2/

Puget Sound Mycological Society:
https://www.psms.org/links.php

South Sound Mushroom Club:
https://www.southsoundmushroomclub.com/

Yakima Valley Mushroom Society:
http://www.yvms.org/


Source information: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region staff

Siuslaw NF Matsutake commercial permits on sale Aug. 13

A basket of matsutake mushrooms.

REEDSPORT, Ore. Aug. 1, 2018 – Annual commercial-use permits for Matsutake mushroom collection on the Siuslaw National Forest lands will be offered for purchase 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area office, 855 Hwy. 101, in Reedsport, Ore.

Anyone gathering matsutake mushrooms within the Siuslaw National Forest for the purpose of selling must carry a commercial-use permit while picking.

One hundred permits will be available for sale at a cost of $250 a permit. Permits will be sold on a first come, first served basis, and there is a limit of one permit per person.

To purchase a permit, the following information must be provided:

  • Valid identification card issued by a state or U.S. federal government
  • Vehicle make, model and license plate number
  • Permits can be purchased using cash, check or credit card.

After Aug. 13, unsold permits can be purchased out of the Siuslaw National Forest headquarters in Corvallis, the Central Coast Ranger Station in Waldport and the ODNRA office in Reedsport.

No permits are needed if gathering matsutakes for personal use. Personal use restrictions are six matsutakes per person a day, and the mushroom must be cut in half length-wise immediately upon harvesting to remove its commercial value.

Please be aware that similarly looking poisonous mushrooms exist in the same area as matsutakes. Do not disturb topsoil when searching for matsutakes by digging or raking. Upon harvesting a matsutake, return soil or debris attached to the stem back into the cavity created by the removed mushroom and cover the hole.

For more information: Contact the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (Siuslaw National Forest) office at (541) 271-6000.


Source Information: Siuslaw National Forest public affairs staff