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Beginning next Tuesday 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 permitting process is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and an effort to maximize social distancing measures to the extent possible.

On Sept. 8, at 8 a.m. 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 season, from Sept. 8 to Nov. 8.

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

Matsutake harvestors 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, materials and maps for the Fremont-Winema National Forest will be available electronically on their website. Letters can be picked up at the following locations:

n Chemult Ranger District 110500 Highway 97 N Chemult, OR 97731, 541-365-7001

n Chiloquin Ranger District 38500 Highway 97 N, Chiloquin, OR 97624, 541-783-4001

n Klamath Ranger District 2819 Dahlia St., Klamath Falls, OR 97601, 541-883-6714

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 more than 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.