Spring temperatures bring mushrooms to the Blue Mountains

A morel mushroom.

For those that are picking small quantities of mushrooms for personal use on national forest land, a permit is not required to harvest, possess or transport less than one gallon in Oregon or less than five gallons in Washington. These free-use mushrooms are for personal consumption and cannot be sold, bartered or given away, according to a Forest Service press release.

A commercial mushroom permit is required if you are 18 years or older and harvest mushrooms to sell — or if harvesting, possessing or transporting more than one gallon in Oregon or more than five gallons in Washington. Purchasing a permit requires valid government-issued identification. Commercial mushroom picking is prohibited in wilderness areas.

An industrial camping permit is required if commercial mushroom harvesters and buyers plan to camp overnight on National Forest System lands. Industrial camping permits can only be obtained at the local ranger district office on the forest to be harvested. Commercial mushroom harvesters and buyers are prohibited from camping in developed campgrounds.

Commercial permit rates are $2 per day with a minimum of 10 days. The permits must be for consecutive days, except on the Malheur National Forest where consecutive days are not required. An annual permit costs $100.

Check with the local ranger district office for updates on road conditions and current closures.

Mushroom harvesters on the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests are required to display a recreation pass in the windshield of their vehicle when using a designated fee trailhead. Northwest Forest Passes cost $5 for each day pass or $30 for an annual pass. Recreation passes are available at Forest Service offices and online through Discover Your Northwest at discovernw.org. The Malheur National Forest does not require a recreation pass.

Note that many forest mushroom varieties are poisonous.


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