Spring mushroom harvest season on the Shasta-McCloud Management Unit (SMMU) of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest will begin a little later than last season due to the amount of snow still present. Permits will be issued starting May 1 and the end of the season will be July 31, 2017.
While many outdoor enthusiasts take to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest during spring to enjoy wildflowers, hunt, or fish, some venture out in search of wild mushrooms such as morels and boletus. Mushrooms typically grow under the cover of leaves, dead wood, and other forest debris, and emerge as the ground and air warm up in spring.
“Forest visitors new to harvesting mushrooms should familiarize themselves with how to differentiate between edible and poisonous varieties,” advises SMMU Information Specialist David Wolfe. “The best way to do this is to go with an expert who has hunted mushrooms for years.”
A personal use permit for up to 20 pounds of mushrooms is free, valid for 30 days, available once per season, and can be obtained at both the Mt. Shasta and McCloud Ranger Stations. Mushrooms harvested under a personal use permit cannot be sold or exchanged. The personal use permits require that mushrooms with a cap diameter equal to or greater than two inches must be cut or broken into quarter sections as soon as they are picked.
Commercial use permits are available for purchase at the McCloud Ranger Station only. The minimum purchase is twenty pounds for $20 and the permit is valid for four days from the date of purchase. Additional days may be purchased at $5.00 per day (1 dollar per pound) up to 30 days (150 pounds) for $150.00.
All permits are issued on an individual basis and permit holders are required to accurately fill out the “Product Record of Removal” section on the permit. Permits are not valid on private land and permit holders should follow the harvest regulations detailed on the back of the permit to allow for future growth for years to come.
“There are rules against raking ground litter as it destroys the mushroom ‘beds’ and it takes a long time for them to recover,” Wolfe urges. “Also, please be courteous to other forest users, pack out what you pack in, and avoid driving on wet roads as damaging ruts can result. There was much storm damage throughout the region this winter, so please watch for road and trail damage, fallen trees and trees that can fall while you are out in the woods.”
Forest Service staff are available to discuss harvesting procedures and monitor harvesting activities in the field. For more information, please contact the McCloud Ranger Station at (530) 964-2184 or the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station at (530) 926-4511. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
To view a .pdf version of this press release, click here.
The mission of the 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. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.