Is it illegal to pick wildflowers from the side of the road in Kentucky
Spring is here and we know it because of all the beauty it brings with it. There are flowers blooming everywhere and if you’re like a lot of people, you want to pick them. You might want to think twice before doing this.
THIS IS A SAFE PLACE FOR CONFESSIONS
Go ahead and admit it. You picked a flower or two that weren’t yours while you were alive. Whether in the park or walking down the street because it was so beautiful. You may have even had the audacity to pull over on the side of the highway when the daffodils were in full bloom and pick up a handful to take home and place in a pretty vase on the joint of your window. It happened, but we’re here to tell you that you may have broken the EKKKK law!
IS IT ILLEGAL TO PICK WILD FLOWERS BY THE ROADSIDE?
According to the USDA;
State or county rights-of-way: It is illegal to cut, destroy, mutilate or remove plants growing on state or county rights-of-way. This means there is no pickup on the side or in sight of a road.
Don’t worry, you won’t go to jail. However, in some states it is a crime to pick certain wildflowers. If you are driving down the road and you see a beautiful patch of wildflowers and stop to pick them, you could be pulled over by law enforcement. Even though it is legal to pick the flower, you are in a right of way that is only meant to be used in an emergency and picking wildflowers is hardly among the bells and whistles.
OTHER PLACES YOU SHOULD NOT PICK FLOWERS
It is also illegal and cheesy to pick flowers from local parks and public places that have planted them to enhance the beauty of their space. If you see a dandelion growing in the middle of a park, you can safely pick it. Picking your neighbor’s roses from his garden is not.
LEGAL PROTECTION OF WILDFLOWER Federal lands: In national forests, parks or monuments, it is illegal to pick or gather plants without a permit. National Forests issue permits for scientific and educational purposes. Permits must be carried when picking up; law enforcement may ask to see the permit. Public and Private Lands: It is illegal to cut, destroy, mutilate or remove any native tree, shrub, fern, grass, bulb, cactus or flower from public land. It is also illegal to take plants from private land without written permission from the owner.
IT IS NOT TECHNICALLY ILLEGAL TO PICK WILD FLOWERS IN MANY PLACES
That said, it’s not technically illegal to pick wildflowers. There are so many reasons not to choose them.
According to USDA;
ECOLOGICAL REASONS NOT TO COLLECT WILD FLOWERS: 1. Flowers are more than beautiful structures that people like; they exist so that the plant can reproduce. Many of the most spectacular flowers are specially designed to attract certain pollinating animals. The number of pollinated flowers combined with their indictment of the stem can mean the difference between reproductive success or failure for the entire year. 2. Removing wildflowers from annuals, plants that flower for only one year and then die, means the seeds the plant would have produced won’t be there for next year’s wildflower season. 3. Many species of wildflowers have already suffered a sharp decline in numbers over the past 100 years due to increasing habitat change.
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