Parts of the Kootenay Boundary region are now closed to commercial-scale huckleberry harvesting for the summer. The identified closure areas remain open to household picking. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

Commercial huckleberry harvesting restricted in Kootenays

The province of B.C. has banned commercial-scale picking from July 15 to October 15

The province of B.C. is once again restricting commercial-scale huckleberry harvesting in an effort to protect grizzly bear habitat in the Kootenay Boundary region.

The province is working together with the Ktunaxa Nation Council to conserve wild huckleberry, which is an important source of food for grizzly bears.

From July 15 to October 15, 2020, commercial-scale picking of huckleberries is prohibited in some areas of the region including Monk Creek, Summit Creek, Little Moyie, Goat River, Kid Creek, Iron Creek/Sand Creek, and Sportsman Ridge/Upper Flathead River. Click here for a detailed map of the closed areas.

This is the third year in a row that the province has closed areas to commercial-scale harvesting. The areas will be reviewed again prior to next year.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, these specific areas have been identified as critical foraging zones for grizzly bear and other wildlife species. They are also of high cultural value to the Ktunaxa Nation and other First Nations.

“Traditionally, the huckleberry harvest was limited to First Nations’ sustenance and public household use,” says the government release. “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. Use of mechanical harvesting devices is discouraged throughout the Kootenay Boundary as a best practice.”

Commercial-scale harvesting includes harvesting or possessing huckleberries exceeding 10 litres per person, per season, the use of mechanical pickers or any device other than hand picking, and harvesting any amount of huckleberries for the purpose of resale.

The only exception is for people picking huckleberries in continuance of an Aboriginal right recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. They may continue to access the closed areas.

Household picking is still allowed within the region, including the areas closed to commercial harvesting.

READ MORE: Commercial huckleberry harvest concerns Wildsight

READ MORE: Second rare grizzly bear spotted in Banff National Park by Calgary family



corey.bullock@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

The Local Store is currently open for online harvest orders. (Photo Contributed)
Local Store launches online harvest orders

The orders must be placed prior to Oct. 27 for pick-up or delivery on Oct 30

Top row, left to right: Tom Shypitka, BC Liberals; Wayne Stetski, BC NDP; Kerri Wall; BC Green Part
Kootenay East candidates messages

We offered each candidate in Kootenay East space to hold forth on issues important to them and to voters.

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read