Grays Harbor forests stripped of floral salal

  • Wed Feb 8th, 2012 2:50pm
  • News

Associated Press

ABERDEEN — Grays Harbor County Forester Larry Smith says county forests are being raided by illegal salal pickers who are stripping the plants of the greens used in floral arrangements.

Smith told county commissioners Monday that a security officer hired to patrol the woods doesn’t have authority to make arrests and officers are often busy with other calls.

The Daily World reports there had been some control when Mt. St. Helens Evergreen held a contract for salal picking rights. The company canceled the contract in July under accusations that it hired illegal immigrants.

Smith told commissioners that without a contract, there is no system for pickers. He says those now picking are stripping plants, making it hard for the salal to grow back.