Huckleberry Pickers Warned Not to Damage Plants

With huckleberry season in full swing in many areas, the forest service is cautioning picker NOT to damage the huckleberry plants by cutting off the berry loaded branches!

Pick huckleberries without damaging plant, Forest Service pleads

NATIVE PLANTS — The huckleberry bush, the most revered shrub in the Inland Northwest, is getting less respect as berry pickers succumb to greed.

Practices are getting so bad, the Forest Service has issued a media release warning that recently observed practices — such as CUTTING OFF A BUSH SO BERRIES COULD BE MORE EASILY PICKED — are against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.

My god.

It’s safe to say most huckleberry plant abusers aren’t among the families returning to their favorite huckleberry hot spots generation after generation.  None of these people wants to damage plants and reduce the harvest of future years.

However, many people may not realize the senseless and improper use of rake-like huckleberry pickers also damages the berry bushes.

Meanwhile, read on for more information on the latest damaging practices reported by the Forest Service.

Currently, on the Nez Perce-Clearwater NFs, there are no regulations in effect for huckleberry picking. However, damaging and/or removing huckleberry bushes/brush on National Forest lands is a violation and can carry a penalty of up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $5,000 fine.

In more than one instance, pickers have recently been observed cutting a pickup load of huckleberry brush and picking berries from the brush they cut.

Huckleberries grow on the current year’s growth of plant. If the plant is cut off at the ground, the plant is destroyed. Something else will grow in its place before the huckleberry can regrow, thus destroying the patch for future crops.


Dr. Dan Barney demonstrating the correct use of a Huckleberry Rake

Find out the proper way to use a Huckleberry Picking Rake by reading the instructions posted on the Huckleberry Rake website.  Videos are included.




  1. Comment by Tammala Froman:

    We pick with rakes when we pick and are very careful dragging them across the limbs of the plant. I always remind everyone before we start to handel the plants with care.
    Thanks for this information though, it is good to know and I will pass it along.

  2. Comment by sandy:

    Thanks Tammala, for leaving the huckleberry resource for everyone to enjoy!!

  3. Comment by pickertoo:

    please provide the citation for the forest service fine informaiton. I cannot find it on-line, nor can I find any reference to it when I search. I would like to pass on the informaiton, but want to be sure of the source. Thanks!

  4. Comment by sandy:

    Greetings Pickertoo,

    The article from the Forest Service can be found here:


  5. Comment by Andy:

    Huckleberry’s are pretty much the greatest berry ever. I work for a video production company, and in a field across the street, there are wild huckleberry plants. The summer and fall are awesome.
    Andy´s last blog post ..And the Best Documentary is…

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