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(MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK – March 13, 2007) Mammoth Cave NP requires visitors to use a mesh sack when collecting mushrooms in the park. The sacks, similar those used to package potatoes or fruit in a grocery store, are available at the visitor center, the campground kiosk, and from any patrolling ranger.
“Many mushroom hunters come to the park each spring, and we’re concerned about the sustainability of morels,” said Chief Ranger Wayne Elliott. “We allow two gallons per person per day, and the morels must be collected in a mesh sack, allowing their spores to drop to the ground and help propagate the species.”
The following is an excerpt from the Superintendent’s Compendium regarding the collection of firewood, berries, nuts, and mushrooms with 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 – 2 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.”
- NPS -