Berry, mushroom harvest closed to non-tribal folks
News from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
PABLO — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes implemented a new rule prohibiting non-Tribal members from berry and mushroom picking on March 1, 2012. A Tribal member may have non-member children and spouse accompany and assist with berry and mushroom picking, provided that the non-member children and spouse have the required recreation permits in their possession.
The closure will protect native plant resources on the Reservation from damage caused by over harvest.
“This type of closure is necessary to ensure these resources are managed for present and future Tribal members,” stated Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation manager Tom McDonald.
All Tribally owned lands on the Flathead Indian Reservation will remain closed to mushroom and berry harvest by non-members until affected areas are recovered. The monitoring and recovery process may take a number of years.
“One of our primary concerns is protecting subsistence use of the natural and cultural resources in the area—while still providing recreation access for visitors,” McDonald said.
The monitoring and recovery will determine if the Reservation will be reopened and what mitigation will be needed for protecting the berry and mushroom resources.
“Regulations are reviewed annually with public hearings held each fall,” McDonald said.
For additional information on the closure, contact Tom McDonald or Germaine White at (406) 675-2700.