Friday, November 18, 2011

Win in Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 12:55 PM

click to enlarge nov9gimpedmushprotest3.JPG


Sometimes an amicable, chatty protest where you invite your enemy to the party works best. On Nov. 9, Orleansian mushroom pickers, upset over a new matsutake gathering policy, staged a protest outside the Six Rivers National Forest's Orleans district office. They invited Forest Service personnel, who took notes and answered questions. Yesterday, Nov. 17, Six Rivers Forest Supervisor Tyrone Kelley announced he'd changed part of the policy in answer to the people's concerns.

The new policy had placed fees on recreational matsutake gathering permits, which were free in seasons past -- and that hasn't changed. The new policy also banned people under 18 from gathering at all. And that's what's changed: Now, according to Kelley in a news release from SRNF:

"To be responsive to the issue raised, we have made the decision to allow anyone 17 years of age or younger to gather mushrooms for free as long as they are with a parent or legal guardian who has purchased a permit. This will give children the opportunity to continue enjoying this activity with family members."

Other concerns about the new policy will be considered at a regional forest meeting, but it sounds like additional policy changes wouldn't happen until next season.

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Heidi Walters

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Heidi Walters has been a staff writer with the North Coast Journal since 2005.

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