Black Press file photo

Black Press file photo

Commercial huckleberry pickers put on notice

Fines for large-scale picking in place under B.C. Land Act; public urged to report offenders to RAPP

Local berry-pickers may be wondering how the government will enforce its ban on large-scale huckleberry harvests in such a vast terrain as the Kootenay Boundary.

And, what will be the penalty for the offenders? Will it be enough to stop commercial huckleberry picking?

First of all, as with any unlawful activity on Crown land, the province urges the public to report offenders to the RAPP line (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1.877.952.7277.

See here: RAPP

Related story here: Commercial ban on huckleberry picking

Related story here: Huckleberries in jeopardy

Or reports can be submitted digitally to the Natural Resource officer on the government’s website at gov.bc.ca.

As far as enforcement, certain known operations have already been put on notice, a provincial spokesperson told the Times.

“The ministry has notified several of the known commercial huckleberry harvesters of the decision to restrict commercial huckleberry harvesting,” the spokesperson confirmed.

“As well, Natural Resource Officers in the region are aware of the new restrictions and will be watching for violations on their regular patrols, including well-known huckleberry harvesting areas.”

Additionally, signs will be posted to clearly identify the closed areas.

People found using or occupying closed areas for commercial-scale huckleberry harvesting may face administrative penalties or trespass charges defined under certain sections of the British Columbia Land Act (Act).

See here: Part 6 – Trespass on Crown land

That may include paying for and restoring any damage to Crown land as well as cancellation of any leases or licences held by the offender(s) under the Act.

Furthermore, the province may seize any personal property used to collect the huckleberries and the huckleberries themselves, and/or apply a reasonable financial penalty as determined by a “delegated decision-maker.”