As the Provincial Government and the Ktunaxa Nation Council work together to conserve grizzly bear habitats, commercial-scale huckleberry harvesting has been prohibited in some areas from July 15th to October 15th.
The B.C. Government said the areas where restrictions are in place have been identified as critical foraging grounds for grizzly bears and other wildlife species. They also hold high cultural significance to the Ktunaxa Nation and other Indigenous groups.
“Traditionally, the huckleberry harvest was limited to First Nations’ sustenance and public household use. The recent increase in commercial-scale huckleberry harvesting in the Kootenays has resulted in conflicts with grizzly bear foraging areas and damaged habitat, particularly when mechanical harvesting devices are used,” said the Province.
Mechanical harvesting devices are discouraged through the area, as well.
Commercial-scale harvesting includes several criteria:
- Harvest or possession of huckleberries exceeding 10 litres per person per season.
- Use of mechanical pickers or any device other than hand picking.
- Harvest of any amount of huckleberries for the purpose of resale.
The closed area will remain open for household picking, as long it does not include any of the criteria previously mentioned.
Areas where the ban in place will be identified with signage. As well, a map can be found here.