ANF sets rules for leek picking

Times Observer photo by Katie Miktuk Federal officials sent out a reminder of the rules for picking leeks.

If leeks are your thing, then you’re welcome to pick them on most of the land that makes up the Allegheny National Forest.

Federal officials sent out a reminder of the rules for picking leeks — a branch off of the onion family — this week.

They caution that collection for personal consumption is allowed and define that as “picking only what you will use for yourself and your family. Persons picking leeks may not sell or exchange any portion of the material gathered for profit.”

Officials ask that anyone picking leeks on Forest Service lands “exercise reasonable care in protecting the collection area from excessive damage – always leave some plants to produce leeks for the future and minimize the disturbance to other plants and the soil when collecting leeks.”

Additional guidelines recommend those collecting to retail at least 70 percent of plants within a given site and to “utilize the smallest implement necessary for the removal of the underground bulbs in order to minimize soil disturbance and/or removal of adjacent non-target plants.”

Individuals should also replace any soil, rocks or wood disturbed in the collection process.

While most of the ANF’s over 500,000 acres are open for leek collection, officials caution that there are a few areas where such activity is prohibited — the Hickory Creek Wilderness and Allegheny Islands Wilderness, Hearts Content and Tionesta scenic areas, the Buckaloons Heritage Area and the Tionesta Research Natural Area.

“Collection is prohibited in these management areas to conserve the resource values for which they were designated under the Allegheny National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan,” officials said.


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