The Bridger-Teton National Forest is extending the sale of commercial permits to collect mushrooms as morel hunters flock to the Roosevelt Fire scar.

Originally, commercial harvesters picking over the Bondurant-area burn could purchase a permit to gather more than 3 gallons per day through the middle of next week. The Bridger-Teton announced Monday that the permits will now be available for purchase and valid through Aug. 1.

“Both commercial and personal users have been able to enjoy this season’s morel mushroom crop,” forest officials said in a statement, “and with anticipated conditions, mushroom gathering will likely continue past the original permit window of July 3.”

The Bridger-Teton is urging people to use caution in the burn area, which is littered with stump holes, snags and loose soil and rocks. The designated commercial picking zone and required permit are both firsts for the forest.

“There are like the perfect conditions, so we’re expecting a big crop,” Forest spokeswoman Mary Cernicek told the Jackson Hole Daily in May. “This is just a chance to get ahead of the commercial side. It has no effect to the families that go out.”

The required $300 commercial morel permit gives pickers up to 14 days to earn back the fee. People slinging mushrooms to upscale restaurants or for any other commercial purposes are confined to a harvest area in the northern portions of the burn area. All other parts of the 3.4 million-acre national forest, Cernicek said, including the Wyoming Range’s 2018 Martin Fire site, are off-limits if the end goal is to sell mushrooms.

Commercial morel pickers who are holing up in the Bondurant area are also required to camp at a designated camping area in the North Fork of Fisherman’s Creek area.

People picking mushrooms for personal use do not need a permit but are limited to 3 gallons per day.

A forest map of the zones designated for commercial picking and personal-only picking can be found online at JHNewsAndGuide.com.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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