Berry season is underway in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Park rangers remind those who choose to collect wild berries to do so safely and to follow park regulations.
The park and parkway are home to a number of edible berry species, most notably huckleberries, wild raspberries, and thimbleberries. Both humans and wildlife, including bears, enjoy eating these species, so it is important that berry pickers be aware of their surroundings, make noise, and carry bear spray.
While many berries are edible and delicious, the park is also home to a number of poisonous species. Those unfamiliar with all the varieties can easily become confused. Visitors should be certain of the species and its edibility before consuming. Reputable guidebooks can help with species identification.
The collection of berries is an exception to the general rule of protection for natural and cultural resources in national parks. Generally, visitors should leave items in their natural setting for others to enjoy. Picking or removing items such as wildflowers, mushrooms, archaeological artifacts, rocks, antlers, skulls, or other animal parts is prohibited.
The superintendent has determined that the collection of edible fruits, berries, and nuts is appropriate and will not have adverse effects on park resources. Fruits, berries, and nuts may be gathered by hand for personal use and consumption. The allowable limit is one quart/per species/per person/per day. The use of bush rakes or other harvesting devices is prohibited, as well as any type of commercial harvest.
These regulations can be found in the superintendent’s compendium at the National Park Service Website.