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Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. - Superintendent Sarah Craighead reminds local residents and park visitors that mesh sacks are required when collecting mushrooms in the park.
"This is an easy way to protect the future of morel mushrooms," said Craighead. "By using the mesh sacks to transport the collected mushrooms, spores can drop to the forest floor and continue to propagate the species. Mushroom hunters usually come to the park prepared. They are just as concerned about the morels as we are."
"Visitors need to park their vehicles far enough off the road so as not to obstruct traffic, and they may not block gated roads," added Chief Ranger Brad McDougal.
The following is an excerpt from the Superintendent's Compendium regarding the collection of firewood, berries, nuts, mushrooms, and non-native fruits within the park:
"Down and dead wood may be used for fuel at any designated campsite.
"The following fruits, nuts, berries, and fruiting bodies of mushrooms may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions. Commercial use is prohibited.
· Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, and paw-paws - 1 gallon per person per day;
· Walnuts, hickory nuts, and buckeyes - 2 gallon per person per day;
· Morel mushrooms - 1 gallon per person per day;
· Non-native fruits - no limit.
"Any person gathering morel mushrooms will collect said mushrooms in a mesh sack, allowing for the distribution of spores throughout the forest as the person gathers more."