Mushroom hunting has been a lively topic in Clay County this season.

Unfortunately, false accusations were made about the conduct of one of our Park Rangers, who was merely seeking to advise a mushroom hunter of existing restrictions. This false statement claimed that our Ranger threatened to issue citations and even arrest a private citizen for mushroom hunting. Our Rangers have made no such threat, as evidenced in the body camera footage provided to FOX4 today and on our website: Link to Body Camera Footage.

We want to thank FOX4 for reporting on the facts. We commend the men and women of our Park Ranger Division for their commitment to keeping employees and public guests safe, even sometimes putting their own life on the line.

Today our Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt a new ordinance that allows for the gathering of edible plants and fruits in Clay County Parks. Commercial harvest is not allowed. The ordinance, 2019-ORD-13, is available on our website: Clay County Ordinance 2019-ORD-13.

The original ordinance that prohibited removal of any plants, for any purpose, was adopted in 1984. We certainly agree it was long overdue for a fresh look by our current Commission, and we thank them for their quick action.

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