National Forests to change permit process for Matsutake mushroom season

Beginning September 8th and continuing into early November the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema and Willamette National Forests will provide an authorizing letter at no cost to allow for Matsutake collection, transport and sale instead of a paid permit.

This interim change to the matsutake permitting process is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and an effort to maximize social distancing measures to the extent possible.

At 8 a.m. September 8th, the Forest Service offices listed below will offer an authorizing letter for Matsutake mushroom harvest rather than a permit.

Packets with the authorizing letter and the requirements for harvesting the popular mushroom will be placed in the front of the offices.

The public is asked to maintain social distancing while picking up packets. The authorizing letter covers the entire Matsutake mushroom season, which goes from September 8 to November 8, 2020.

The authorizing letter will allow harvesters to gather Matsutake mushrooms on the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Umpqua and Willamette national forests.

Matsutake harvesters will be required to have the following in their possession while harvesting, transporting and selling matsutake mushrooms:

1.       A completed and signed hard copy version of this Matsutake Collection Authorization Letter.

2.       A digital or hard copy version of the 2020 Matsutake Collection Synopsis, included in the packet of information.

3.       A digital or hard copy version of the appropriate harvesting area map (i.e., the map covering the area where the matsutakes are harvested).

The Authorizing Letter packet can be acquired at Forest Service offices (located outside near the front doors) or at any of the three national forests’ websites:

Deschutes National Forest

The authorizing letter, materials and maps for the Fremont-Winema National Forest will be available electronically on their website at www.fs.usda.gov/main/deschutes/home

  • Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701, 541-383-5300
  • Crescent Ranger District 136471 Hwy 97 N Crescent, OR 97733, 541-433-3200

 Fremont-Winema National Forest

The authorizing letter, materials and maps for the Fremont-Winema National Forest will be available electronically on their website at www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema

  • Chemult Ranger District 110500 Highway 97 N Chemult, OR 97731,  541-365-7001
  • Chiloquin Ranger District 38500 Highway 97 N, Chiloquin, OR 97624, 541-783-4001
  • Klamath Ranger District 2819 Dahlia St., Klamath Falls, OR 97601, 541-883-6714

Willamette National Forest

The authorizing letter, materials and maps for the Willamette National Forest will be available electronically on their website at www.fs.usda.gov/willamette/

  • Detroit Ranger District 44125 North Santiam Highway SE Detroit, OR 97342, 503-854-3366
  • Sweet Home Ranger District 4431 Highway 20 Sweet Home, OR 97386, 541-367-5168
  • McKenzie River Ranger District 57600 McKenzie Hwy McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413, 541-822-3381
  • Middle Fork Ranger District 46375 Highway 58 Westfir, OR 97492, 541-782-2283

Harvesters need to be aware that dispersed camping is not allowed on the Deschutes National Forest for the purpose of commercial harvest of the mushrooms.

The Crescent Ranger District will have their Industrial Camp open free of charge to the public during mushroom season.

The Industrial Camp is located on Forest Service Road 5814. Services at the camp are limited to trash at the current time. There are over 50 sites available on a first come, first serve basis with 10 of the sites having fire rings. Campfires are only allowed within those 10 fire rings. Directions to the camp will be included in Matsutake Collection Authorization packets at the Bend-Fort Rock and Crescent Ranger District offices.

Harvesters need to be aware that there are Public Use Restrictions on all three national forests. Campfires are not allowed outside of designated campgrounds on any of the forests.

For lists of designated campgrounds where campfires are allowed, harvesters can go to the following sites:

Deschutes National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/deschutes/home/?cid=fseprd795399&width=full

Fremont-Winema National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd779887.pdf

Willamette National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd778815.pdf

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