Commercial huckleberry harvesting in grizzly bear habitats is being prohibited in parts of the Kootenay Boundary. Google stock photo

Commercial huckleberry harvesting in grizzly bear habitats is being prohibited in parts of the Kootenay Boundary. Google stock photo

Commercial huckleberry harvesting to be banned in parts of Kootenay Boundary

The ban runs July 15 to Oct. 15

The provincial government wants huckleberries to be left to the grizzlies.

Commercial-scale picking of huckleberries is being prohibited in some areas of the Kootenay Boundary from July 15 to Oct. 15 to protect grizzly bear habitats, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The areas included in the prohibition include Little Moyie and Monk Creek, which are east and west of Creston, respectively. Kid Creek, Iron Creek/Sand Creek and Sportsman Ridge/Upper Flathead River in the East Kootenay are the other areas included.

“Traditionally, the huckleberry harvest was limited to First Nations sustenance and 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 where mechanical harvesting devices are used,” reads the statement.

Commercial-scale harvesting is defined as: 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.