Forests to allow free personal use permits for mushrooms and transplants

Contacts:
Jean Nelson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer, Deschutes National Forest, 458-231-1242
Patrick Lair, Public Affairs Officer, Ochoco National Forest and CRNG, 541-416-6500
 

Date:    April 10, 2020                      

Forests to allow free personal use permits for mushrooms and transplants


 Central Oregon – Beginning Monday and throughout the month of May, the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland will be allowing people to collect some special forest products for personal use without having to obtain a free use permit from Forest Service offices. This action is being taken by the two Forests and Grassland to support the social and physical distancing behaviors needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide for the safety of our community members and employees.

From April 13 to June 1, 2020, native plants and mushrooms can be collected without a free use permit. This temporary change will maximize social distancing measures. Depending upon the evolution of the COVID-19 situation in Central Oregon, after June 1, 2020, the Forest Service may return to issuing personal use permits at our offices. 

It is important for the public to note that native plants and mushrooms collected without a permit under the personal free-use program, are for personal use only and may not be resold or bartered.  To be able to sell or barter these products requires a commercial permit.

The collection of native plants and mushrooms during this period will be based on the honor system and the Forest Service asks people to adhere to best management/harvesting practices (BMHPs) to support the long-term health of the forest. 

Individuals collecting native plants or mushrooms for personal use are required to download and possess, either digitally or in paper form, a copy of these BMHPs (see attachments) or go to this link. These best management/harvesting practices can be found at either the Deschutes National Forest or Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland websites: www.fs.usda.gov/main/deschutes/home  or www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ochoco

 

The public should be aware that not all special forest products will be available for personal collection without a permit. This temporary change only applies to mushrooms and transplants. Cones, boughs, bark, dead wood, pine needles and decorative wood will still require a permit. If people are interested in getting a personal use permit for those special forest products or for any commercial use, they should contact the following Special Forest Product coordinators:

 

For general questions or to inquire about a commercial Special Forest Products permit on the Deschutes National Forest:

Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District:

Crescent Ranger District:

Sisters Ranger District:

For general questions or to inquire about a commercial Special Forest Products permit on the Ochoco National Forest or Crooked River National Grassland:

Lookout Mountain and Paulina Ranger Districts and Crooked River National Grassland

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Deschutes National Forest Best Management/Harvest Practices

Please follow these practices to protect plant and mushroom populations and minimize negative impacts to the ecosystems in your National Forest.

Native Plants

  • Allowable Quantities:  16 plants, 4 of which can be trees.
  • Only the plants listed in the “Collecting Native Plants – Deschutes National Forest” publication are allowed for collection.  You are required to have this publication available during collection, either digitally on your phone or other device, or a printed hard copy.  This publication is available for downloading at this web link:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5281944.pdf
  • Follow the "1 in 20" rule.  Collect only 1 plant for every 20 plants of that species in the area.  If there aren't 20 plants present, find a new location.
  • For transplanting purposes, tree seedlings need to be less than 4 feet in height and shrubs need to be less than 2 feet in height.
  • Keep your vehicle on open roads according to the current Deschutes National Forest Motor Vehicle Maps.  These maps can be downloaded onto your electronic devices with the PDF Maps app available from Avenza or from the Deschutes National Forest website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/maps-pubs/?cid=stelprdb5318152
  • Collect out of sight from trails. Fill in holes. Restore your collection area so that it appears undisturbed.
  • Plants cannot be collected from the following areas: campgrounds, recreation areas, wilderness areas, research natural areas, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, experimental forests, tree plantations, within 300 feet of lakes, streams, springs or other wetlands or within 100 feet of graveled or paved roads, (for safety, scenic preservation and minimizing noxious weed invasion).
  • Protected Species - All species of the following plants are protected under Oregon State Law and are prohibited from collection: lilies -including camas, mariposa lilies, fawn lilies, 3 and 6 petal lilies; orchids -including lady slippers, bitterroot, and primroses.  All Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species are prohibited from collection.
  • Material collected under free use may not be resold or bartered. 

Mushrooms

  • Allowable Quantities:  2 gallons per day, for 10 days per calendar year.
  • All species of free/recreational use mushrooms will be cut in half lengthwise, stem through cap, and both halves separated at the time of harvest.
  • No raking or other ground disturbance is allowed while searching for or harvesting mushrooms.
  • Keep your vehicle on open roads according to the current Deschutes National Forest Motor Vehicle Maps.  These maps can be downloaded onto your electronic devices with the PDF Maps app available from Avenza.com or from the Deschutes National Forest website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/maps-pubs/?cid=stelprdb5318152
  • Mushrooms cannot be collected from the following areas: campgrounds, recreation areas, wilderness areas, research natural areas, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, experimental forests, tree plantations, within 300 feet of lakes, streams, springs or other wetlands or within 100 feet of graveled or paved roads, (for safety, scenic preservation and minimizing noxious weed invasion).  It is required that you have in your possession a Mushroom Harvest Map, available at this web link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/passes-permits/forestproducts/?cid=fsbdev3_035882 and on the Avenza website.
  • Material collected under free use may not be resold or bartered. 

 

Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland

Best Management/Harvest Practices

Please follow these practices to protect native plants and mushroom populations and minimize negative impacts to the ecosystems in your National Forest.

Native Plants

Plants that are eligible to be collected for personal use are listed in the brochure, Collecting Native Plants for the Ochoco National Forest.  This brochure also outlines permit conditions and transplanting tips.  The brochure is available for free and can be downloaded at  www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd722583.pdf   The brochure is required to be present while collecting plants.  Under this free use program, there is a limit of 16 plants of which 4 can be trees.  Aspen is not available for collection.  Plants obtained under this free use program cannot be sold or exchanged (36 CFR 261.6(f)).  Commercial native plant collection permits may be available for those who wish to sell or barter native plants. 

The collection of native plants is prohibited in the following locations:  campgrounds; recreation areas; wilderness; wilderness study areas; wild and scenic rivers corridors; research natural areas; tree plantations; river canyons, rimrock, and cliff features; fenced exclosures that are part of restoration projects; within 300 feet of lakes and streams; within 100 feet of springs, wet meadows, floodplains, paved and gravel roads.  Rimrock Springs Wildlife Area and Cove Palisades State Park on the Crooked River National Grassland are closed to collecting. 

All species of the following plants are protected under Oregon State Law and are prohibited from collection:  lilies – including camas, mariposa lilies, fawn lilies, 3 and 6 petal lilies; orchids – including lady slippers, bitterroot and primroses.  All Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species are prohibited from collection. 

The current Motor Vehicle Use Maps must be followed.  These maps are available to be downloaded for free at:   https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ochoco/maps-pubs. These maps can also be downloaded onto your electronic devices with the PDF Maps app available from Avenza.com. 

Mushrooms

Under this free use program, there is a limit of 2 gallons per day for 10 days.  All species of mushrooms collected as free use must be cut in half lengthwise at the time of harvest.  The most commonly sought mushroom in the spring on the Ochoco National Forest is the morel.  In past years morels are ready for gathering in May.  Be sure to know your mushroom before you pick it!  Remember not all mushrooms are edible and some are poisonous. 

Collection practices that are valid under this program include the hand collection of mushrooms (no raking or use of other tools that can damage the mushroom habitat) and the practice of not removing all the mushrooms from an area.  Effort should be made to not disturb the duff layer or the surrounding vegetation where the mushrooms are growing.  Mushrooms will return most every year if we harvest carefully and leave some mushrooms to mature and produce spores.  Like a seed, spores from mushrooms that are left undisturbed and allowed to mature, produce the crop for next year. 

Mushrooms obtained under this free use program cannot be sold or exchanged (36 CFR 261.6(f)).  The collection of mushrooms is prohibited in wilderness and research natural areas. 

The current Motor Vehicle Use Maps must be followed.  These maps are available to be downloaded for free at:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ochoco/maps-pubs . These maps can also be downloaded onto your electronic devices with the PDF Maps app available from Avenza.com. 

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