Personal-use mushroom picking free in local nat'l forests
May 14, 2020
POMEROY–For avid mushroom pickers, spring truly begins when friendly fungi return to the forest. Personal-use mushroom picking is free and does not require a permit or payment under the legal limits, which authorizes an individual to harvest, possess, or transport less than a gallon in Oregon and less than five gallons in Washington. These free mushrooms are only available for personal consumption and cannot be sold, bartered or given away.
Those seeking to pick more than the free personal-use limit are considered commercial gatherers. To help slow the spread of COVID-19, Forest Supervisors on the Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests have postponed the issuance of commercial mushroom permits until 2021. Many commercial operations involve large crews that travel and camp together, which presents a social distancing challenge during the pandemic.
National Forest officials urge visitors to understand and follow State health orders for Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. At this time, all National Forest developed recreation sites – including campgrounds, trailhead facilities, picnic areas, rental cabins, Sno-Parks, and boat ramps – are temporarily closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. While many forest roads, trails, and areas remain open to the public, visitors are strongly urged to practice social distancing. Mushroom picking is not permitted in any botanical area, research area, or in other areas closed by the Forest Service, including developed recreation sites.
To help care for the land while picking mushrooms:
-Carry your mushrooms in a net bag, allowing mushrooms to spread their spores for future production.
-Give wild animals plenty of space, and leave newborns alone.
-Practice “leave no trace” ethics, and take your trash home with you.
-Report any violations promptly to the Forest Service.