The Forest is not issuing commercial permits due to the fact that harvest areas are very limited, compared to previous years. Many of the large wildfires last summer, including the Mustang fire burned mostly in Idaho. Areas of the fire that burned onto the Bitterroot National Forest were mostly in wilderness areas, where commercial mushroom harvesting is prohibited. For more information about commercial mushroom harvesting in Idaho visit www.fs.usda.gov/r4.
Mushroom seasons vary depending on local weather conditions and elevations but generally last from May through September. To harvest mushrooms anywhere on the National Forest you must have a permit. Personal use permits are free and available at all Forest Service offices. Mushrooms collected under a free use permit must be cut in half lengthwise at the time of harvesting. Free use harvesters have a 5 gallon per day (approximately 2 grocery bags) and 20 gallon per season limit.
The permits allow mushroom harvesting only on the Bitterroot National Forest. All mushroom harvesting is limited to hand picking -- no heavy equipment will be allowed. Motorized travel is restricted to open roads and trails only and parking along many Forest roads is extremely limited. Parked vehicles should not block traffic or impede fire or emergency vehicles.
Forest officials remind the public that some areas remain snow covered and inaccessible, especially at higher elevations. If you are venturing out into the woods you should be prepared for spring conditions. Widely varying temperatures and melting snow can create hazardous driving conditions as well as concerns for the integrity of the road.
For more mushroom harvest information and rules check the 2013 Mushroom Guideavailable at all Bitterroot National Forest Offices or visit www.fs.usda.gov/bitterroot.
Stay in touch with the Bitterroot National Forest throughwww.twitter.com/BitterrootNF and www.facebook.com/DiscoverTheBitterroot.