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Forest officials paying for pine cone collectors

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Officials with the Superior National Forest are paying members of the public to collect native jack pine cones.

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U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Kris Reichenbach tells the Duluth News Tribune (http://bit.ly/mRNM6Ihttp://bit.ly/mRNM6I ) the jack pine cones are needed because seed banks are low at tree nurseries used to reforest the area.

Officials will pay from $50 to $70 for bushels of the pine cones from now until July 1.

Collectors must go to a Superior National Forest District office for instructions on what officials need and where cones can be found. Registration is required to get paid.

The Forest Service pays more for bushels of brown, tighter cones, which usually still have seeds in them. Foresters will review each collection to see if the cones are viable.

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