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First Nations Regulating Mushroom Harvest

First Nations in B.C are taking steps to ensure responsible mushroom harvesting following the 2017 wildfires.

Tribal Chairman of the Tsilhqhot’in National Government, Chief Joe Alphonse says that since the fires they have been concerned about the upcoming mushroom season and the number of pickers that will be coming into the territory.

“That happened after the 2009 and the mess that was left behind was just unreal. We don’t have an issue with people coming into the territory and try to make a living but we ask that they be respectful of the areas that they operate in,” he says.

“To  make sure that happens the communities have developed a permitting system which will be enforced by RCMP, the Conservation Officer Service, and will also be monitored by our own Tribal Rangers.”

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Permits within the Tsilhqhot’in territory will be issued to buyers and harvesters until June 29, 2018, with all proceeds to go towards ensuring designated campsites are kept clean with adequate facilities.

The ?Esdilagh First Nation last month declared a No Go Zone for mushroom picking in their territory’s most ecologically and culturally sensitive area that was hit hard by last year’s Cast Rock/Twan Lake South wildfire.

Also monitoring the mushroom harvesting and issuing permits is the Secwepemc Nation that government has partnered with to help protect and restore burnt areas of the Elephant Hill area.

We have been managing and using the forests since time immemorial),” said Chief Ron Ignace of the Secwepemc Nation.

“Our sacred role as Yucwminmen— caretakers of the land — means that our first responsibility is to the health and care of the land. If you look after the land, the land will look after you.”

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