Matsutake mushroom season opens on Tuesday, September 8, on the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Umpqua and Willamette National Forests. All four national forests will conclude their season on November 8.
The Fremont-Winema National Forest’s Chemult Ranger District office and the Deschutes National Forest’s Crescent Ranger District office will be open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on September 8 for permit sales to better meet mushroom harvesters’ needs. They will then be sold during regular business hours for the remainder of the season.
Regular business hours are Monday through Friday 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Chemult Ranger District office, 110500 U.S. Highway 97 North in Chemult, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 P.m. at the Crescent Ranger District office, 136471 U.S. Highway 97 North in Crescent. Business hours to purchase permits are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all Umpqua National Forest offices. Permits are also available at other offices on the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema and Willamette National Forests.
A commercial harvest permit is required for anyone harvesting matsutake mushrooms on the four national forests. Permits cost $200 for the 62-day season or $100 for a consecutive 31-day half season permit. An $8 per day permit that requires a three-day minimum purchase can also be bought that does not require picking days to be consecutive. Harvesters must be 18 or older and have valid identification to purchase a permit.
Each purchase of a permit includes an informational synopsis and map showing areas open to harvest. Areas closed to harvest include Crater Lake National Park, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon Cascades Recreation Area, research natural areas, wilderness areas, campgrounds and other posted closed areas.
In addition, some areas within the Deschutes National Forest that include the Sisters Ranger District are closed to mushroom harvests. Contact the local Forest Service office for more information about mushroom closures and permits.
Forest Service managers prohibit the use of leaf blowers and rakes to harvest mushrooms because it can negatively impact future harvests.
A campground for commercial harvesters on the Deschutes and Fremont-Winema National Forests has been established at Little Odell Mushroom Camp near Crescent Lake. Hoodoo Recreation Services will manage the industrial campground, which will open September 8. The cost is $125 per harvester for the full two month season, $75 for a half season and $40 per week. Site occupancy is limited to eight people and two vehicles. Water, garbage and toilet services are provided.
For more information on Little Odell Mushroom Camp rates and services, contact Hoodoo Recreation Services at 541-338-7869 or http://hoodoorecreation.com/
For more information about the matsutake mushroom program, contact one of these participating Forest Service offices: Chemult Ranger Station at 541-365-7001, Crescent Ranger Station at 541-433-3200, Umpqua National Forest at541-957-3200 or Willamette National Forest at 541-225-6300.
Mushroom harvesters are reminded that due to fire danger within the four national forests, public use restrictions might be in effect and must be followed. Harvesters should call the numbers listed above or visit national forest websites for current fire restriction information.