[4/30/18] With Spring Comes Forest Service Firewood & Mushroom Harvesting Permits

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As the snowline slowly creeps up the mountains, access to your National Forest is expanding.

Permits for gathering firewood from National Forest Lands on the Tonasket Ranger District are now on sale, and the Methow Ranger District will begin offering permits next Tuesday, May 1st.

Permits are available at forest offices in Omak, Tonasket and Winthrop. Permits remain $5 per cord of wood with a minimum purchase of 4 cords and a maximum of 12 cords per household.

Forest visitors are encouraged to check with the local Ranger District before heading out for the day.

More information about the personal use firewood program is available online at www.fs.usda.gov- or call 509-486-2186.

Forest Managers say you can help minimize the spread of invasive pests by gathering your firewood near your home. It’s recommended to get your firewood from the same county.

For more information check out the website: dontmovethefirewood.com.

And, if wood isn’t what your after in the forest– how about mushrooms?

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That’s Robin DeMario, Public Affairs Specialist on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

She says harvesting mushrooms for personal use is free- but you are required to carry a mushroom use information sheet with you while harvesting.

That information sheet can be found online at www.go.usa.gov and is also available at local National Forest Offices…

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The growing season for morel mushrooms begins as soon as snow melts and continues into July- depending on elevation, slope aspect and precipitation.

This year, no commercial use mushroom harvesting will be permitted in the Uno Peak Fire area near Manson, or the Diamond Creek Fire area near Mazama– nor is personal mushroom harvesting recommended in those areas due to hazards from potential debris flows.

Often called mud slides, debris flows are water saturated landslides that travel rapidly down slope carrying trees, rocks and other debris, threatening people in their path with little or no warning.

For more information about commercial or personal use mushroom harvesting, contact your local Ranger District Office.