PORTLAND – Crater Lake National Park rangers have seized 234 pounds of morel mushrooms worth an estimated $8,000 that were harvested illegally from the park over the Fourth of July weekend.
Chief Ranger Kean Mihata said Monday authorities have issued citations to 14 people in connection with the crime.
Mushroom hunting is prohibited in national parks but allowed in some areas of national forest. Harvesters who want the mushrooms for personal use can gather up to 5 gallons a day without a permit.
The mushrooms, which can retail for $20 a pound, grow in forests burned by wildfire, making the area surrounding Crater Lake ideal for hunters.
The park recorded its largest fire on record last year when flames burned nearly 21,000 acres in the park and nearby Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
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