Mushrooms are close to being ready for harvest by the public on Forest Service land in the Blue Mountains.
A permit is not required to harvest less than a gallon in Oregon or less than five gallons in Washington in the Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur national forests. The mushrooms must be for personal consumption and cannot be sold, bartered or given away.
Proper identification and determination of whether a mushroom is edible is the responsibility of the picker. Many forest mushroom varieties are poisonous.
Forest Service officials recommend using a guidebook or getting help from a county extension office, and always throwing out a mushroom if there is any doubt about its identity.
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Mushroom pickers in 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. The Malheur National Forest does not require a recreation pass.
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 at www.discovernw.org.
A commercial mushroom permit is required for those 18 years or older who harvest mushrooms to sell or who plan to harvest, possess or transport more than one gallon in Oregon or more than five gallons in Washington. No harvesting is allowed within wilderness boundaries.
An industrial camping permit is required if commercial mushroom harvesters and buyers plan to camp overnight on National Forest lands. They must be obtained at a ranger district office. Commercial mushroom harvesters and buyers are prohibited from camping in developed campgrounds.
Commercial permits cost a minimum of $20 for 10 days, with an extra $2 per day for additional days. A permit for all of 2015 costs $100. A buyer’s permit costs $600. There also are record keeping requirements.