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brendan
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Hi, I'm a novice. I live between DC and Baltimore, and there are not a lot of public woodlands within easy reach. The few that seem like good options are either research refuges, national parks or state parks. I have found it to be extremely difficult to find a straight answer as to what the laws about foraging for mushrooms are in the US or Maryland, and I would also like to know if the rules are different between state/national parks/forests etc.. For example, I found a NPS statement that says it is illegal to remove any plant material from any national park, but on several national park websites, particularly in the pacific northwest, but also in the Shenandoah there is actually advice about collecting mushrooms. I don't want to break laws, and I love the park system and want to support it. I emailed the research refuge but got no response. Is there already a topic on this? Does anyone have a recommendation as to where US foraging laws are clearly laid out? Or failing that, a couple suggestions as to where it is definitely legal would suffice! (other than backyards, I just ain't got one :) )

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Brendan, I live out in NW Va. .., and I have found the laws and codes very vague .. I hunt morels in the Shenandoah NP. .. I have been told by several people that I can harvest 2 gallons a day . But I have not seen that in print .. There is a state park not far from here that I hunt occasionally, and there is a sign when you enter that states, no minerals or plants may be removed . But no mention of fungi .. They do allow deer hunting however .. I have been approached by park rangers in the past without any incident, have never been told to stop my hunt ..I have been told by a ranger in the Manassas battlefield, not to remove so much as a leaf though.. I wish I could be of more help, but the laws are vague at best ..

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I was told by my hubby that I can forage wild mushrooms in state parks/ game lands for personal use, and I  only can pick 2 LBS a day  not for the commercial use.
But I can't stop gethering the good morels and chanties to 2 LBS a day only.  Most of the time felt guilty for over loaded my basket. Especially I found hens, one can weigh 30,40, even 50 LBS sometimes. What about this situation?  Cut the 30 LBS hens off 2 LBS in 15 days?  If the law only allow people gethering 2 LBS of wild mushroom,  Big hens could send me to jail many many times. 

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  • 3 years later...

Can’t talk to Virginia, as I didn’t hunt mushrooms when I lived there.  But I’ve been documenting things like that here in PA and saving it to my phone in case I ever need it.  Below are the PA State Game Lands and PA State Forest  regulations, captured by photographs of their respective signs.   
 

I need to get PA State Parks regs (Our mushroom clubs hunt these on a regular basis, so I don’t think it’s a problem).  I also would like to get the National Forest regs because of the Allegheny National Forest.

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From what I’m seeing online, it looks like for national parks, it varies from park to park, so you’d be better off checking with the park you are interested in hunting.  
 

Last year I called the Delaware state park system to inquire about mushroom hunting. Was told that you could not pick plant parts on state parks, and that included fungi.

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PA State Parks.  17 PA code, 11.211 natural resources, sub section B, gathering  fruits, nuts, berries, and fungi. this is permitted.

PA state game lands are also legal to pick mushrooms. I think the PA state forest are and the Allegheny National Forest is legal to harvest mushrooms. I think most of the time personal use is accepted but commercial picking is restricted. ??

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Be very careful.  The regulations can be different from park to park, and forest to forest.  As well as city, county, and state, and different pieces of land in each location.  This excerpt from the Olympic National Forest does not apply to the Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest, where you do need a personal use permit to pick mushrooms.  Both of these national forests are in the same state, but the rules are different.  

Each park and forest has different situations and different superintendents or rangers making the policies.

If you wish to pick legally, you have to find out the rules for each place you want to pick.

On 5/30/2021 at 8:47 PM, Kevin Hoover said:

National Forest regs as I found them online:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Been looking up of the rules and regulations on foraging wild mushrooms...very vague but what I gathered (no pun intended) is you can harvest for personal consumption...2 gals. This article I found is very interesting for anyone who is harvesting to sell to restaurants. Rules are very strict. Not sure if it is applicable to other states 

https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/consumer_protection/FoodSafety/Eggs-Fruit-Vegetables/Documents/Guidance for Wild Mushroom Harvesters in PA.pdf

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