Personal Use Mushroom Permit and Fee waived for 2020 season
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: May 13, 2020

HELENA, Mont. – The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest will not require a Personal Use Mushroom Permit for the 2020 season which runs May 15, 2020 through September 30, 2020.  Under this free use program an individual is allowed to harvest up to 5 gallons of mushrooms for the season provided they follow all terms and conditions in our 2020 Mushroom Guide.

Reminders for enjoying the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest:

  • Beware of falling snags and stump holes in burned areas
  • Motorized vehicles are not allowed off existing roads that are open to the public
  • When parking persons shall not block traffic or impede fire or emergency vehicles
  • Pack-it in, pack-it out.  Pack out all trash and garbage
  • Follow food storage orders for storing food, garbage and bear attractants
  • Mushrooms gathered in wilderness can only be collected for use while in the wilderness
  • Discharging firearms in campsites is prohibited

Properly identifying mushrooms and determining whether they are edible is your responsibility. Guidebooks can help you identify mushrooms.  Several field guides and keys are available at local bookstores.  Also libraries, county extension offices, and mycological societies are good sources of information.  The western Montana Mycological Association has a web site that may help:

Mushrooms must be cut at ground level to reduce impacts to the fungus and must be cut in half lengthwise at the time of collection.  Raking, digging, and other ground disturbances are not allowed.  Please follow the rule of thumb and collect no mushrooms smaller than an average adult thumb.  Mushrooms gathered in wilderness can only be collected for use while in the wilderness.

This program only refers to the 2020 Mushroom Season on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, for information about neighboring forests, please go to their respective websites or search by state and forest name at: .   Permits and approvals for other surface uses/activities such as access improvements and mining-related projects are still required in advance.

Maps of recent fire areas available at:   Helena-Lewis and Clark NF Mushroom Opportunity Map.

More information at:

Follow us on Facebook @HLCNF and Twitter @LewisandClarkNF.  To learn more about the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest visit:

New Podcast!