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Reservation mushroom, berry harvest rules shared

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In 2012, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes implemented a rule prohibiting non-tribal members from harvesting mushrooms and berries on the Flathead Indain Reservation. A tribal member may have non-member children and spouse (immediate family) accompany and assist with mushroom and berry picking, provided that the non-member children and spouse have the required recreation permits in their possession.

The primary concern is protecting subsistence use of the natural and cultural resources in the area, while still providing recreation access for visitors. The closure will protect native plant resources on the reservation from damage caused by over harvest.

The tribe also asks that you respectfully harvest berries; please refrain from using modified pickers, which are known to cause damage. It is also unlawful to cut, destroy or mutilate any tree, shrub or plant; therefore, cutting a berry bush to be processed at a different location is not permitted.

United States Forest Service law enforcement officers ask tribal members who are harvesting mushrooms on Forest Service lands off the reservation to carry their valid tribal identification as a courtesy to assist with enforcement.

For additional information, contact Tom McDonald, Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Program manager or Stephanie Gillin, information and education program manager at 406- 883-2888.

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