Mushroom Permits


Chanterelle mushrooms. Photo by US Forest Service.

Mushrooms are the reproductive structures or “fruit” of certain fungi. Unlike green plants, fungi cannot use sunlight to make food, but the web-like root structures called mycelium decompose organic matter, which the organism utilizes for food.

Mushrooms and truffles are important wildlife food.  They are consumed by deer, elk, bear, small mammals, and mollusks. Some rodents rely on mushrooms for a significant part of their food supply and are, in turn, primary prey for larger species such as the northern spotted owl. Preserving the diversity of fungal species in forest ecosystems is essential to the wellbeing of our National Forests.

Information available on the Mushroom Fact Sheet. For more information about mushrooms and locations check with the local Ranger District to plan your visit.


Printable Mushroom Fact Sheet


Incidental Use

Permits are not required in certain situations: forest products may be consumed or used while on the forest without a permit. For example, berries or mushrooms may be eaten in the woods or down wood may be gathered for a campfire (on the forest) without a permit. Except where otherwise noted, it is not legal to remove products collected from the forest without a permit. Up to one (1) gallon of mushrooms per day is considered incidental use and does not require a permit.


Free Use Permit Required

For items over incidental use, you will need to get a Free Use permit. This permit will allow you to gather up to (5) gallons.  Contact ranger district offices to obtain a permit or for more information.  


Charge Use Permit Required

A Charge Use Permit is required for any individual intending to harvesting more than (5) gallon of  mushrooms or intending to sell them. Contact your nearest Forest Service district office to obtain a charge use permit or for more information.

Permits are available at Forest Service field offices and the cost is based on the length of time permit is valid, with a limit on quantity.

  • 2 Day Permit costs $25.00 = 12.5 gallons
  • 10 Day Permit costs $40.00 = 20 gallons
  • 20 Day Permit costs $60.00 = 30 gallons
  • Six Month Permit costs $125.00 = 62.5 gallons

Conditions of the Charge Use Permit, including areas available for mushroom gathering, will be authorized at the Forest Service office where the permit is issued.

The Charge Use Product Summary Table shows the price of the permit as well as the limit on amounts of cuttings you may harvest with the permit.


Harvesting Techniques

For the best possible recovery of mushroom sites year after year, proper harvesting techniques are necessary and required for both personal and commercial gathering. Mushroom stems are to be cut at or above ground level keeping the growing site as undisturbed as possible. Use only a knife or scissors to harvest mushrooms. Equip yourself properly before going to the field. Raking of mushroom patches damages or destroys their future productivity.

Equipment Checklist

Prepare for a safe and efficient trip by carrying the following: 1) Extra food, water and clothing 2) Compass and map of the area 3) Whistle 4) Mushroom field guide 5) Small knife for harvesting and trimming 6) Bucket to carry mushrooms 7) Waxed paper or waxed bags (not plastic) for separating and protecting the mushrooms.

Use Cation

Know the mushroom before you pick it. There are many poisonous mushrooms, but there also are many edible, delicious, and easily identified species. Use guidebooks and pamphlets for identification.


Do Your Part

If you pack it in, pack it out. Please remove all trash!

  • Do your part and respect the Forest by leaving it clean and free of trash.  For more information on how you can help, read the following information about practicing Leave No Trace principles
  • Follow all permit conditions.
  • Follow general rules and regulations for use of National Forest Systems lands, which are available at Ranger District offices.
  • Proper gathering techniques of Special Forest Products to ensure future availability.
  • It is ILLEGAL to harvest rare, threatened, or endangered plants.