Morel mushroom harvesting permits on sale in May


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 the fire area.

Permits went on sale May 1 for commercial harvesting of mushrooms from the Jolly Mountain fire area in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Permits will be sold at the Cle Elum and Naches ranger stations and the forest headquarters office in Wenatchee.
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 May 1 through July 31. Permits must be in the harvester’s possession when collecting mushrooms.
Commercial harvesting information sheets, translated in five languages, and a map showing the general location of the burned area and commercial harvester camps are available online and at these national forest offices.
Two areas will be designated as commercial mushroom harvester camps--Salmon La Sac and North Fork Teanaway on the Cle Elum Ranger District. Commercial mushroom harvesters will be directed to use these locations when staying overnight in the national forest.
“There are some areas where commercial harvesting is prohibited,” said Cle Elum District Ranger Michelle Capp. “These areas include congressionally designated Wilderness areas, research natural areas, administrative sites, botanical areas, scenic corridors, developed recreation sites, campgrounds, and those places under area closures,” she said.
No commercial use mushroom harvesting will be permitted in portions of the Uno Peak Fire near Manson, Diamond Creek fire near Mazama, Jack Creek fire in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and the Norse Peak and American fires in the William O. Douglas Wilderness northwest of Naches.
The restriction on personal use collection in the Uno Peak fire area is 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, up to five gallons per person per day, is free but collectors must 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 https://go.usa.gov/xQ3YJ and is also available at local national forest offices.
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 the fire area.
For more information about commercial or personal use mushroom harvesting 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 www.fs.usda.gov/goto/okawen/mushroom .
Get the latest forest news and alerts by texting ‘follow OkaWenNF’ to 40404, ‘liking’ us on facebook or following us on twitter @OkaWenNF. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

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