Morel mushroom permits to go on sale for Kootenai National Forest
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: April 7, 2022

The Kootenai National Forest is expecting an excellent crop of morel mushrooms this year due to the areas effected by wildfires in 2021. Morel mushrooms often fruit prolifically in the years after an area has been burned by wildfire, however the morel mushroom season varies depending on local weather conditions. The Forest is expecting an increased number of people to come harvest morel mushrooms, including both commercial and personal use mushroom pickers.

The type of permit required varies based on the amount to be collected and whether the product is to be sold. Two types of permits will be available for the 2022 mushroom season, Personal Use and Commercial Use. Individuals may also harvest mushrooms at Incidental Use levels without a permit. See more information, including the table below.

The South Yaak fire area accommodates both commercial and personal use mushroom harvesting. The Burnt Peak fire area, as well as other previous fire areas, are open for personal use mushroom harvesting only.

Permits and information pertaining to mushroom harvesting will be available at the Three Rivers Ranger District office and the Forest Supervisor’s office locations.

Commercial and Personal Use permits are only valid on Forest Service lands.

Personal Use Permits

Personal Use permits are available now.

Commercial Use Permits

Commercial mushroom permits will be available beginning April 25, 2022. The commercial mushroom season will be from April 25 to June 30, 2022. Commercial mushroom harvesting is only authorized in designated areas of the South Yaak fire.

Commercial Harvesting Map

Mushroom Map – South Yaak Commercial Use Area (pdf)

The northeastern most area of the South Yaak fire is not included in the commercial harvest area to minimize potential disturbance to grizzly bears. Please note that the Prospect/Gunsight Trail is the northeastern boundary of the commercial mushroom harvest area.

More information on Commercial Harvesting

A camp for commercial harvesters is designated to help reduce resource impacts and manage sanitation issues. Individuals that have a commercial mushroom permit may ONLY camp in the designated camp or on non-federal lands. Camping permits are $20/individual. The camp for the South Yaak Commercial Mushroom Area is at the Noseeum gravel pit on the NFSR 752. Sanitation services will be provided at the camp location. Local water sources will be identified to minimize impacts to sensitive streams in the area.

The Kootenai National Forest will be active in enforcing mushroom and camping permits. An increased law enforcement presence and regular monitoring of the area will help reduce resource damage and detrimental impacts.

Safety, along with sanitation, are major concerns for Forest officials, mushroom pickers, local landowners, public and our partners. Sanitation services will be provided at several locations within the fire area for the duration of the commercial season to encourage pickers to manage their garbage and personal waste.

The Forest Food Storage Order is in effect and requires proper storage and possession of food to minimize conflicts with grizzly and black bears.

Commercial mushroom harvesting is not permitted on Stimson Lumber lands. Commercial and Personal Use permits are only valid on Forest Service lands.

Summary Table of Permit Types

*Other Forests in Region 1 may have identified areas that are excluded from mushroom collection under Incidental or Personal Use Permits.

Specification Commercial Permit Personal Use Free Permit Incidental Permit
Permit Required YES, permit is required for each person 12 years and older to collect mushrooms anywhere on the Forest. YES, permit is required for each person 12 years and older to collect mushrooms anywhere on the Forest. No
Designated Commercial Areas ONLY Kootenai National Forest Kootenai National Forest
Season or Permit Length April 25, 2022 to June 30, 2022 Calendar Year 2022 Calendar Year 2022
Minimum Charge $20.00 $0.00 Not Applicable
Maximum Charge $300.00 per season $0.00 Not Applicable
Minimum Amount 20 Gallons (50 Lbs.)
7 days
7.1 Lbs. per day
5 Gallons (12.5 Lbs.) Not Applicable
Maximum Amount Per Permit:
100 Gallons (250 Lbs.) Season 4.2 Lbs per day

Per Individual:
300 Gallons (750 Lbs.)
*Up to 3 Season Permits per individual

20 Gallons (50 Lbs.) 1 gallon per day in possession 5 gallons total per person, per season
Other Requirements Mushrooms may be kept whole and may be sold.

Camping in designated group locations ONLY with a valid commercial camping permit, if camping on Forest Service lands.

All mushrooms must be sliced lengthwise in half at the time of harvesting.

Resale of mushrooms is prohibited.

All mushrooms must be sliced lengthwise in half at the time of harvesting.

Resale of mushrooms is prohibited.