The BC Wildlife Federation is supporting the province’s restriction on commercial-scale huckleberry harvesting in the Kootenays. However, more needs to be done, according to the president of the B.C.-wide hunting, fishing and conservation organization.
The Province of BC announced that fom July 15 to Oct. 15, commercial-scale picking of huckleberries is prohibited in some areas of the Kootenay Boundary region, including Little Moyie and Kid Creek west of Moyie and Iron Creek/Sand Creek and Sportsman Ridge/Upper Flathead River west and south of Fernie and Monk Creek, west of Creston.
“The ban is a small step forward but does not address the larger habitat issues that influence grizzly bear population status,” said Harvey Andrusak, President of the BC Wildlife Federation.
The areas in question have been identified as critical foraging zones for grizzly bears and other wildlife species. These areas are of traditional high value to First Nations, a Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development press release explained.
The BC Wildlife Federation supports the ban on commercial huckleberry picking and leaving the harvest for First Nations as well as home use by B.C. families.
Huckleberries are an important component of the grizzly bear diet. To ensure grizzly bears and other wildlife are preserved across these landscapes, enforceable forest management objectives are required that maintain forest habitat diversity and productivity.