Note: Audio to come.
WGCU asked for comment about how enforceable the present moratorium on saw palmetto berry picking might be in light of the black market that exists around the berry. A spokesperson with the Florida Department of Agriculture wrote in an email "The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is partnering with our department to help enforce the moratorium on palmetto berry harvests on state forest land."
The Florida Department of Agriculture recently put a moratorium on picking saw palmetto berries in state forests. The berries are a major part of the state’s black bear diet. They’re also collected and sold for medicines.
Environmental groups said the lack of available berries for bears is one of the likely causes behind the recent incidents between humans and bears.
Now that berry pickers are being put on hold, they want the state to also hold off on its recently approved bear hunt.