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Harvest Method and Social Reaction

The first impression one harvester forms of another is usually based on harvest method. Harvesting where others have been, or someone has harvested the area he is working, harvest method used influences reactions.

Harvest method is a controversial subject in the industry. Some say rough treatment encourages mushroom growth, while others claim it "kills" the patch.

Harvesters who dig, probe, scrap and rake are considered inexperienced. These inexperienced harvesters claim it takes too much time to carefully search out each mushroom. Many, despite management efforts, don't know good harvest methods, or don't care.  The public in general is uncertain. Studies conducted by USFS and OSU will soon give us some answers.   Encountering an area others have harvested immediately brings two reactions. The first is to the fact the area has been harvested. The second is to how the area was harvested. When poor harvest methods are used, reactions are negative toward other harvesters. Good harvest methods are praised, harvesters blame themselves for not being there before others. The observable effects of poor methods are not difficult to identify. Seeing moderate to extreme disturbance on the forest floor greatly lessons the aesthetic beauty others strive to preserve. Finding other mushrooms is extremely difficult. Most harvesters avoid these areas when possible. Yet others use disturbance to find new areas. Where there is digging this year patches can be found next year.

All government land management agencies issuing permits express the necessity of good harvest methods. Difficulties priciest in enforcing standards. The task is a challenge for law enforcement. Monitoring thousands of harvesters on hundreds of square miles.

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