Monday, May 13, 2013

Halstead Fire benefits mushroom

Now that the 2012 Halstead Fire has long since been entered into the history books, attention turns to a predictable benefit--the harvest of coveted morel mushrooms in The Salmon River headwaters.

Early this month The Salmon-Challis National Forest (SCNF) announced morel mushroom gathering for personal use will be permitted in the Halstead burned area on both the adjacent Sawtooth National Forest.  As an additional bonus, commercial mushroom harvesting will not be allowed within the Halstead burned areas.

Mushroom seasons vary depending on weather conditions but generally last from May through September.  Mushrooms collected under the free use permit must be cut in half lengthwise at the time of harvest and cannot be resold commercially.  Free use harvester are allowed 5 gallons per day (approximately 2 grocery bags) per person.

All mushroom harvesting is limited to hand picking and motorized travel is restricted to open roads and trails only.  Mushroom seekers must carry their permit when they are gathering.

Free use permits for The Halstead burned areas are only available at the SCNF offices in Mackay, Challis, Salmon, Leadore and North Fork.  All offices are closed on weekends and holidays and generally close at 4:30 on weekdays.

Note that mushroom gathering will also be allowed on the Mustang Fire burned area.  However, the Mustang is also open to commercial harvesters as well.

Here are some links to help you understand the presence of morel mushrooms in burned areas:

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