Pine Nut Gathering
Gathering pinyon pine nuts is a wonderful way to experience the fall bounty of Great Basin National Park. The singleaf pinyon, Pinus monophylla, is an abundant tree found in mixed stands with Utah juniper between 6,000 and 9,000 feet. It is the only species of pine on the continent with single needles.
The nuts produced by these pines are delicious and nutritious. They have been important to Native Americans and animals for millenia. The pine nuts commonly purchased in gourmet food stores are typically those of the Colorado pinyon, but the nuts of the singleleaf pinyon are equally tasty.
Gathering pine nuts within Great Basin National Park is allowed in the fall only, and subject to the following regulations. The goal is to ensure that impact to the park is minimized and that plenty of nuts remain for Clark's nutcrackers, pinyon jays, and ground squirrels.
Did You Know?
One of the major ecological threats to the sagebrush-dominated Great Basin ecosystem is the introduction and spread of dozens of species of non-native plants. The most important of these, cheatgrass (or downy brome) covers the largest area: 25 million acres, one-third of the area of the Great Basin.