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Picking pine cones could lead to cash in your wallet

The Department of Natural Resources offering money for red pine cones
Red Pinecones - DNR
Posted at 3:16 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 18:40:30-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For the entire month of September, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering you a way to help the environment and add some cash to your wallet.

All you have to do is pick up fresh red pine cones and drop them off at a specific DNR location. The DNR is offering drop-offs in Cadillac, Marquette, Newberry, Roscommon, Manistique, and Gaylord.

You'll want to make an appointment first! Here is the link for more information. Then, your search can start!

With some hard work and a good eye, you could turn in one bushel for $75.

Fresh Picked Cones - DNR.jpeg
Fresh picked pine cones.

The DNR says pine cones are found in downed trees, squirrel caches and in state forests. Yes, you can steal from squirrels!

They advise picking red pine cones from living trees whose branches reach near the ground. Before you turn in your bushel, check with DNR's website first. They are looking for very specific fresh red pine cones, stored in a dry and cool space.

They are asking for the pine cones to be delivered in mesh bags, because that will keep them fresh. If you don't have a mesh bag, the DNR says that they will provide onion bags at their specified locations. Burlap bags and plastic bags may ruin the pine cones because they do not ventilate properly.

Red Pinecones - DNR
Ready-to-pick red pine cones have closed scales and often show a green or purple tint.

Jason Hartman, Roscommon's Department of Natural Resources Silviculturist, spoke with FOX 17 on Thursday. He stated, "We do a cone collection program every year. But right now the seed supply for red pine is really scarce on the open market. And so we're trying to bolster our program and do more collection internally and seed processing internally, our reforestation program is growing and it's shifting more towards red pine."

Not only does this provide Michiganders an opportunity to explore the outdoors and make money, but it will also help the environment.

For more information, click here.