BWCA Wild edibles of the BWCA Boundary Waters BWCA Food and Recipes
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member (16)member
02/11/2020 11:19AM  
Hi all,

I'm new to the forum so I apologize if this is a repeat topic.

I suppose my first question is: is low-impact foraging permissible in the BWCA? I see lots of online resources talking about wild edibles/foraging in the BW and a single article saying it's not allowed... any insight?

For those experienced in the BWCA and gathering wild edibles, what go-to wild plants, mushrooms, and berries do you find most often during certain seasons? I'm especially eager to learn more about wild edible fungi in this region that are, without doubt, safe to consume (where there are either no lookalikes or the only lookalikes just don't taste great but are still edible). Outside of morels which I know quite well, my experience is limited. My goal for my next trip this summer is to try to safely make meals entirely out of what I find in the BWs. Obviously I plan to play it safe and will not attempt to consume something without 100% confidence in identification.

I have seen numerous resources online and I already own a good reference guide to midwest wild edibles but figured I would ask those who have logged tons of hours on the ground in this area in different seasons.

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distinguished member(1964)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/11/2020 12:39PM  
You are correct that it is extremely hard to find specific rules for that area...actually for any federal lands. In general, most places allow limited amounts of berry picking and mushrooms. But if you are collecting anything else, you will need to check directly with the governing body and even then you might get different answers.

My husband eats acorns and they are not considered a fruit so he can't collect them in state parks, etc.

Here is some general info, but doesn't get specific about BW Foraging in MN
member (27)member
02/18/2020 12:29PM  
Foraging in the BWCA should fall under the jurisdiction/rules of the National Forest Service (Superior N.F.), which is generally pretty open as far as foraging is concerned. You should just call one of the ranger stations if you have reason to believe the BWCA has special regulations. If they tell you anything is prohibited, they should be able to point you to a specific statute or set of rules.
02/19/2020 10:08AM  
Some people go in and bring out multiple gallon ice cream buckets full of berries when its in season. I think if your intent is personal and not commercial in nature then you're good.

My groups have certainly picked lots of berries in the past, brought some home from one trip but mostly they're consumed within a day or two of picking & typically in pancakes.

Can't help on the shrooms, I stick to berries.
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