Lolo Forest ready to issue morel mushroom permits

Morel mushrooms. (Courtesy photo)

By Missoula Current

Time to get picking.

District offices across the Lolo National Forest are offering permits for mushroom harvesting starting later this month – just in time for the picking season.

The morel mushroom season typically varies depending on local weather conditions. The season may run from April through July, though that will depend on the spring weather.

Boyd Hartwig with the Lolo National Forest said those interested in harvesting less than five gallons wont need a permit on the Lolo this year – the Copper King fire perimeter being the only exception.

“For harvesting within the Copper King fire perimeter, harvesters must be in possession of a commercial or personal-use permit,” Hartwig said. “Because of the hazardous conditions that exist in the burned area, two restrictions apply on National Forest lands within the Copper King fire perimeter.”

That includes a ban on overnight camping. Trails within the area are open to hiking, but motorized or mechanical vehicles are not permitted.

Hartwig said those looking to gather more than 20 gallons for personal use must get a different permit and pay $1 a gallon, with a minimum $20 charge. Larger quantities require a commercial permit, which are available at the Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger Station.