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    Public lands fungal management in the United States developed in direct response to commercial harvesting in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) in the 1980s. In the early 2000s, concerns over declining morel mushroom abundance in national parks in the greater Washington, DC, region (NCR) led to the creation of harvest limits and stimulated research on the social-ecological system of morels in that region. In this article we compare findings from research on morel harvesting conducted at two national parks in the NCR from 2004 to 2007, with fungal management from two federal units in the PNW. We find substantial differences in existing regulatory policies, historical and cultural harvesting practices, and taxonomic and ecological variation in Morchella, indicating the need for regionally specific management. To address these differences, we recommend a participatory approach incorporating the local social-ecological specificities of mushroom harvesting and ecology that are missed at coarser spatial and temporal scales.

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    Barron, Elizabeth S.; Emery, Marla R. 2012. Implications of variation in social-ecological systems for the development of US fungal management policy. Society and Natural Resources. 25: 996-1011.


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    fungi, nontimber forest products, participatory research, resource management, wild edible mushrooms

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