Saw Palmetto Berry Picking is Illegal on Public Property; Permit Required for Private Property Picking

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There is a county wide ordinance that prohibits the picking of Saw Palmetto Berries on public property. You can however request a Permit to Harvest permit from the FDACS/DPI to harvest saw palmetto berries on privately owned land, which includes your own property.

“We have received a lot of complaints from citizens over the years of trespassing, usually during this time of year between August and November, when the berries are ripe and ready for picking,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “If you don’t have permission from the property owner and a permit – don’t do it. Otherwise, you could be arrested.”

“While some private property owners allow the harvesting of the berries with permission, picking palmetto berries is not allowed on Flagler County owned or managed preserves and parks,” said Flagler County Public Lands and Natural Resource Manager Mike Lagasse. “Palmetto berry harvesting activities reduce the amount of food available for wildlife and can create unwanted trails and debris on our public lands,” Lagasse said. “Berry pickers are working in hazardous conditions, damaging our parks, and interrupting food sources for our native wildlife.”

This has been a problematic issue for private property owners and for the county’s many natural areas such as MalaCompra Park, River-to-Sea Preserve, and Varn Park.

If you suspect someone is harvesting berries on county-owned property, the FCSO asks you to report this to Lagasse at 386-313-4064 or by calling the FCSO’s non-emergency number at 386-313-4911.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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