Stop the Commercialization of Huckleberries

On October 11th a group of people led by an indigenous elder from one of the Columbia River Tribes spent the day protesting at the Tillamook Creamery Visitors Center asking them to stop selling Huckleberry products. We held signs, handed out a lot of flyers, talked to people, got kicked out of the parking lot by the manager, and generally educated some people about why the commercialization of huckleberries must be stopped.

The commercial harvest severely depletes and damages the huckleberry plants, “raking” the berries off which means no more berries later in the season. Some commercial operations use intimidation tactics including weapons to prevent indigenous people from gathering in their usual and accustomed areas, guaranteed to them by the treaty of 1855.

“Since time immemorial, huckleberries have been a sustenance food and integral part of the spiritual practices of the traditional peoples from the four Columbia River tribes: Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla and Ne me pu (Nez Perce). The Treaty of 1855, between the U.S. Government and the Tribes, guarantees the right to fish, hunt and gather sustenance foods in all usual and accustomed places.”

Anna Mae Leonard, Indigenous Organizer
Wanapum Sustenance Foods & Spiritual Practic

Mt. Hood Forest Service is doing the right thing; they are NOT issuing any permits for commercial huckleberry harvesting.

Huckleberries are a delight, I love huckleberry jam, and pancakes and the like, but not at the expense of depleting the harvest leaving little for those who have first rights to this wondrous and sacred little berry. Help stop the harmful commercialization of the huckleberry in Oregon, below are talking points and contact information:

Call or Email:
Tell Forest Service to STOP selling huckleberry permits; and increase Forest Service Law Enforcement during huckleberry season.
Tell Tillamook Creamery and Umpqua Dairy to stop the use of huckleberries in their products.
Tell grocery stores to discontinue all huckleberry products.
Ask Governor Tina Kotek to discontinue huckleberry permits in ALL Oregon forests.
Tell them to enforce the Treaty of 1855 with the Tribes;
and the Lacy Act – The Interstate Trafficking of Forest Products Law!
Truck loads of huckleberries are transported to California.

*USDA Forest Service Headquarters. Matt Mawhirter at 360-216-3856 987
*Oregon Governor Tina Kotek at 503-378-4582
*Tillamook Creamery (Huckleberry ice cream & yogurt) 855-562-3568
*Umpqua Dairy (Huckleberry cheese cake) 541-672-2638 or 888-672-6455

About Lynn Spitaleri Handlin

Organizing member of Extinction rebellion pdx, founding member of Cascadia Magical Activists, loves doing habitat restoration for fun.


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