2017 Pine Nut harvest season kicks off in Nevada public lands

SPARKS—The 2017 pine nut harvest season kicks off on lands managed by the Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Both agencies are working together to ensure the public is safely harvesting pine nuts and aware of the regulations.

The length of the pine nut harvest season varies depending on crop quality and seasonal weather conditions. It is generally September to late October when pine nuts are available for harvest.

The BLM and U.S. Forest Service have two types of pine nut harvesting: personal use and commercial use. Personal use is the harvesting of relatively small amounts of pine nuts not intended for sale. Commercial use is when harvesters intend to sell their nuts or if they are harvesting large quantities for personal use. Individuals and families who visit lands managed by the Nevada BLM and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest can gather up to 25 pounds of nuts per season/per household without a personal use permit and at no charge.

This limit provides a sustainable level of harvest and protection of natural resources across pine nut picking areas. Anyone who would like to gather more than 25 pounds must contact their local BLM or Forest Service office.

Even though the general public is allowed to harvest pine nuts under personal use without obtaining a permit at one of the BLM or U.S Forest Service offices, it is recommended that individuals stop by the local office to obtain specific pine nut harvesting information. This information could include maps of good crop areas, closure information, fire restrictions, areas to avoid, etc. Personal use harvesting is allowed anywhere that pinyon pine trees may be found on BLM managed lands. The Battle Mountain and Ely Districts have issued a total of 11 commercial permits for the collection of just over 205,750 pounds of pine nuts. The public and Tribal members are still allowed to collect within these units for personal use. For more information on BLM commercial use, please contact Lead Forester Coreen Francis at 775-885-6021 or c1franci@blm.gov. On the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, personal use harvesting is also allowed anywhere that pinyon pine trees may be found on the Austin-Tonopah, Bridgeport, Carson, Ely, and Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger Districts, as well as the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. Only one commercial contract has been awarded by the Ely Ranger District to harvest approximately 10,000 pounds of pine nuts on the Monte Cristo Unit, which is south of U.S. Route 50 on the White Pine Range. The public and Tribal members are still allowed to collect within this area for personal use. For more information on Forest Service commercial use, please contact Central Zone Fuels Specialist Carol Carlock at 775-289-3031or clcarlock@fs.fed.us. Nevada BLM and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest law enforcement will actively pursue all applicable federal violations against any illegal pine nut harvesters. Violators could be punished by a $5,000 fine or six months in jail or both (per violation). There could be further charges and restitution if resources are damaged during the illegal activity. To report suspicious pine nut harvesting on lands managed by the Nevada BLM, call the Lake Mead 24-hour Dispatch Center at 702-293-8998. If the suspicious activity is occurring on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, please contact either the Nevada Division of Wildlife 24-hour Dispatch Center at 775-688-1331 or 775-688-1332 (U.S. Forest Law Enforcement) or the local Ranger District Office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (phone numbers below). If at any time a person feels threatened or is threatened by another harvester, please leave the area and immediately call 911. Never approach anyone that may be illegally harvesting pine nuts. Instead, get details and descriptions of the incident and turn them over to an enforcement agency. Helpful information includes:  • The license plate number and description of the vehicle involved (make, model, year, and condition). • Number of people involved, along with descriptions. • Date and time of incident. • Location and directions to the area, if possible GPS coordinates. • Name of county incident occurred in. • Name and telephone number of person reporting the incident. • Provide any cell phone photos if available. RANGER DISTRICTSPHONE NUMBERSAustin-Tonopah Ranger DistrictAustin Office – 775-964-2671Tonopah Office – 775-482-6286Bridgeport Ranger District760-932-7070Carson Ranger District775-882-2766Ely Ranger District775-289-3031After hours or on weekends775-289-0176Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger DistrictElko Office  – 775-738-5171Wells Office – 775-752-3357Spring Mountains National Recreation Area702-515-5400  The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands. The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s spectacular 6.3 million acres make it the largest national forest in the lower 48 states. Located in Nevada and a small portion of eastern California, the Forest offers year-round recreation of all types. For information on the Forest, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/htnf or participate in the conversation at https://twitter.com/HumboldtToiyabe and https://facebook.com/HumboldtToiyabeNF/.

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