Northern Region Mushroom Harvest Information

A Bumper Crop in the Forecast!

Morel mushrooms often fruit prolifically in the years immediately after a wildfire. The wildfires of 2021 in the Northern Region suggest a prolific mushroom crop in the spring of 2022.

Photo: Morel Mushroom (Morchella sp.) Glacier National Park Photo, Flickr

Mushroom Hunter Helper

This interactive web map can help you find past wildfire and prescribed fire activities have taken place for the purpose of personal use mushroom gathering. Review all rules and guidelines regarding the specific areas and mushroom permit requirements for the individual national forest(s) you will be going to and know how to stay safe while recreating in burned areas. Common Hazards while Recreating in Post-Fire Landscapes (5/4/18, 49 kb)

Kootenai National Forest Commercial Harvest Area Maps

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Commercial Harvest Area Maps

Forest Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Northern Region
R1-18-19
April 2022

2022 Northern Region Mushroom Guide

A morel mushroom growing from the forest floor.
Morel Mushroom
USDA Forest Service Photo

Morel mushrooms often fruit prolifically in the years after an area has been burned by wildfire. In 2021, a significant amount of Forest Service lands in the Northern Region were effected by fire; a bountiful mushroom crop is anticipated.

Mushrooms are considered a forest product. Various types of permits, both personal use and commercial use, may be required for collection. Please review this brochure or visit Northern Region Mushrooms for detailed information regarding mushroom harvest opportunities and regulations.

A harvested morel mushroom sliced in half from top to bottom.
Mushrooms harvested for personal use must be sliced in half, lengthwise. USDA Forest Service Photo

Best Practices

  • All mushroom harvesters must follow conditions of the permit, Forest regulations, and Motor Vehicle Use Map Regulations.
  • Mushrooms may be harvested anywhere on National Forest System lands unless otherwise restricted. Contact your local Forest Service office when in doubt.
  • Avoid streamside and wetland areas to minimize impacts.
  • Many harvest areas border private lands. Be respectful of adjacent private lands and do not enter without permission.
  • Practice Leave No Trace ethics while enjoying your National Forests. Pick up and pack out your trash and anything else you bring with you, including cigarette butts. Littering brings a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • Dispose of human waste and toilet paper by burying it at least 18 inches deep and 300 feet away from any water sources or open road.
  • Comply with local food storage regulations.
  • Do not block gates, roads, or interfere with the use of trails.
  • If you encounter historic artifacts in the forest, treat them with respect and leave them where you find them.
  • Proper identification of mushrooms is the responsibility of the harvester. Keep in mind that many forest mushroom species are poisonous!
  • Mushroom guidebooks are available to assist with identification.  Your local library, county extension office, and Mycological Society are valuable sources of information.

Incidental Use

Incidental Use allows an individual to have up to one gallon of mushrooms in their possession, with a limit of five gallons per season. No permit is required.

Harvest may occur on Northern Region Forest Service lands where mushroom picking is allowed, including commercial harvest areas.

Mushrooms must be sliced in half lengthwise from stem to cap, and resale is prohibited.

Personal Use

Permits are required for over 5 gallons per season, up to a maximum of 20 gallons.

  • Harvest may occur on Northern Region Forest Service lands where mushroom picking is allowed, including commercial harvest areas.
  • Permittee may have no more than 5 gallons in possession at one time.
  • Mushrooms must be sliced in half length-wise from stem to cap, and resale is prohibited.
  • Permits will be offered at any Forest Service Office managing mushroom activity.

PERSONAL USE PERMIT (FREE)

  • A Personal Use (Free) permit allows an individual to pick up to 5 gallons (12.5 Lbs.) of mushrooms per day.
  • A maximum of 20 gallons (50 Lbs.) can be harvested per season.
  • Personal Use permits are valid through September 30, 2022.
  • In 2022, in response to the National Emergency due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Personal Use Mushroom permits will be issued free of charge.
 

2022 Commercial Use
Opportunities and Regulations

2022 commercial harvest is only allowed in designated areas on the Beaverhead - Deerlodge and Kootenai National Forests.

Visit the mushroom webpage or contact offices listed on this brochure for maps and information.

COMMERCIAL USE SEASON

  • Kootenai National Forest: April 25 to June 30, 2022
  • Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest: May 23 to June 30, 2022

COMMERCIAL USE PERMIT

A Commercial permit allows an individual to harvest mushrooms to be sold commercially or to buyers.

Commercial permits are managed by duration (consecutive days) or weight (gallons/pounds), whichever comes first. Commercial permit options are below:

  • 7 days or 20 gallons / 50 lbs will cost $20
  • 14 days or 40 gallons / 100 lbs will cost $40
  • 21 days or 60 gallons / 150 lbs will cost $60
  • 30 days or 75 gallons / 187.5 lbs will cost $75
  • Season-long or 100 gallons / 250 lbs will cost $100

Please note that one individual may purchase up to three commercial permits (per season) to harvest a combined 750 pounds / 300 gallons of mushrooms in commercially designated areas.

COMMERCIAL USE CAMPING

  • Commercial permittees camping on National Forest System lands must camp in designated commercial campsites and possess a camping permit.
  • Camping permits will only be issued by the local units identified for each commercial harvest area.
  • Camp locations can be found by contacting your local Forest Service office or by visiting the mushroom webpage.
  • Commercial camping permits are $20/individual and required for all commercial mushroom permit holders intending to camp on Forest Service lands. Permit not required for anyone under 12 years of age.

Beaverhead-Deerlodge
National Forest
Commercial Harvest Opportunities

TRAIL CREEK FIRE

Local Unit: Wisdom Ranger District

Commercial Camps: Some camps may not be available until dry ground conditions exist. 

  • NFSR 106 one mile west of Hogan Cabin (T1N, R19W, Sec. 25 NW¼)
  • End of NFSR 1297 (T2S, R18W, Sec. 4 NE¼)
  • Jct. NFSR 081 & Trail 3114 (T2S, R19W, Sec. 24 NW¼)
  • Jct. NFSR 943 & 1275 (T2S, R17W, Sec. 34 NE½)
  • Jct. NFSR 624 & 7366 (T3S, R17W, Sec. 22 SW¼)

HAYSTACK FIRE

Local Unit: Butte Ranger District

Commercial Camp: No commercial camps established on National Forest Land due to proximity to Boulder, MT.

OFFICES SELLING COMMERCIAL PERMITS

Wisdom Ranger District
Commercial permits sold for the Trail Creek Fire Area only, 1 day per week, Mondays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MDT
300 Forest Service Rd 71233
Wisdom, MT 59761
(406) 689-3243

Butte Ranger District
Commercial permits sold for the Haystack Fire Area only, 1 day per week, Wednesdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MDT
1820 Meadowlark
Butte, MT 59701
(406) 494-2147

Bitterroot National Forest, Darby - Sula Ranger District
Commercial permits sold for the Trail Creek Fire Area only, 1 day per week, Tuesdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
712 North Main St.
Darby, MT 59829
(406) 821-3913

Kootenai
National Forest
Commercial Harvest Opportunities

South Yaak Fire

Local Unit: Three Rivers Ranger District

Commercial Camp:
Noseeum gravel pit on the NFSR 752.

The Burnt Peak fire area, as well as other previous fire areas, are open for personal use mushroom harvesting only.

Visit the Kootenai National Forest Mushroom Page for more information.

OFFICES SELLING COMMERCIAL PERMITS

Supervisor's Office
31374 US Highway 2
Libby, MT 59923
(406) 293-6211
Open: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MDT

Three Rivers Ranger District
12858 US Hwy 2
Troy, MT 59935
(406) 295-4693
Open: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MDT

Four off-white mushrooms on white stems with an oblong cap that appears to have deep pits between wrinkles on its surface grow on a forest floor.
Morel mushrooms on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, USDA Forest Service Photo by Gina Davis

Morel mushroom sliced lengthwise in half, as required for personal collection.

Please visit the individual National Forest mushroom harvest pages, linked below, for information on obtaining a personal use permit, or gathering small quantities of morels for personal use.

Visit these links for details on personal and incidental harvesting of mushrooms on individual forests:

We want you to stay safe while collecting mushrooms!

Common Hazards while Recreating in Post-Fire Landscapes pdf (5/4/18, 49 kb)

A large grizzly bear in an autumn forestThe Northern Region is home to both black bears and grizzly bears, and they are out of their dens and on the hunt for food, often with cubs in tow. Read our Northern Region Bear Guide pdf for information on traveling and camping safely in bear country.

Each Forest in the Northern Region has regulations in place that govern what types of traffic is allowed on roads and trails during defined seasons. It is your responsibility to know and follow these rules for the Forest on which you are collecting mushrooms. Get a Motor Vehicle Use Map and know and follow all of the travel regulations for the area to which you are going!