Mushroom picking is a popular pastime for many Montanans. I also understand it can get a little cutthroat at times, right, you 'shroom hooligans?

With mushroom season upon us, May 15 - September 30, the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest has announced that they will not require a Personal Use Mushroom Permit for the 2020 season. Under this free use program an individual is allowed to harvest up to five gallons of mushrooms for the season provided they follow all terms and conditions in the 2020 Mushroom Guide. Yes, there is a mushroom guide.

Besides the five-gallon limit, the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest folks has asked us to pass along some reminders.

Beware of falling snags and stump holes in burned areas.  Motorized vehicles are not allowed off existing roads that are open to the public. When parking persons shall not block traffic or impede fire or emergency vehicles. Pack-it in, pack-it out.  Pack out all trash and garbage. Follow food storage orders for storing food, garbage and bear attractants. Mushrooms gathered in wilderness can only be collected for use while in the wilderness. Discharging firearms in campsites is prohibited.

Mushrooms must be cut at ground level to reduce impacts to the fungus and must be cut in half lengthwise at the time of collection.  Raking, digging, and other ground disturbances are not allowed. Properly identifying mushrooms and determining whether they are edible is your responsibility. Guidebooks can help you identify mushrooms.  Several field guides and keys are available. Collect no mushrooms smaller than an average adult thumb.  Mushrooms gathered in wilderness can only be collected for use while in the wilderness.