Morel mushrooms grow beside a log, south of Francois Lake. (Blair McBride photo)

First Nations, government to monitor mushroom picking

The provincial government is partnering with some First Nations in the region to help monitor mushroom picking and ensure it is done responsibly.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) announced a partnership with three First Nations east of Houston in the monitoring plan, according to a press release on June 27.

The Nadleh Whut’en, Stellat’en and Nakazdli Whut’en First Nations first approached the government for the partnership, as an FLNRORD spokesperson told Black Press. The government is open to working with any First Nation on such alliances.

The joint effort follows ongoing recovery efforts from the 2018 Shovel Lake and Island Lake wildfires. Mushrooms, especially morels tend to grow abundantly in formerly burned areas.

“The Nadleh Whut’en and Stellat’en communities have developed a management plan for the areas near their communities. As ancestral caretakers of the land, they encourage responsible, safe and low-impact mushroom harvesting. Pickers and buyers are able to receive educational materials, safety tips and directions. Mushroom harvesting in the affected area is being monitored by First Nations Land Guardians,” the release said.

“As stewards of the land, we have a sacred duty to ensure that all who use the natural bounty of our forests and waters do so in a responsible, sustainable and respectful manner,” said Larry Nooski, Chief of Nadleh Whut’en. “We are pleased to have our Guardians work alongside the Province’s conservation officers and natural resource officers in protecting sensitive cultural and ecological areas.”

The recovery process involves the closure of some areas to mushroom picking. They include a swath at the west end of Fraser Lake, and a patch between Oona Lake and Ormond Lake, about nine kilometres north of Fraser Lake. They will be closed from May 17 to Aug. 31.

The restrictions are in addition to the regular prohibitions on picking in parks, ecological reserves and recreation areas, and on Department of National Defense lands.

Permission is needed to pick on First Nations reserves, tree farm licenses, leased Crown land and private lands.

No permission is needed to pick on provincial forest lands.

Some First Nations in the province have taken a stricter approach towards picking than the three First Nations near Fraser Lake.

The ?Esdilagh First Nation between Quesnel and Williams Lake has banned picking in certain areas and the Tsilhqot’in and Secwépemc started permit systems to regulate the activity.

READ MORE: First Nation band bans mushroom harvest in West Fraser Complex fire area

READ MORE: Mushroom picking in Tsilhqot’in territory to require a permit

READ MORE: Harvesting Morel Mushrooms in the Secwépemc Territory

That was done out of concern for ecologically and culturally sensitive areas, and because some pickers have left behind a mess from their camps.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Just Posted

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

College could offer training programs this fall

But has no plans to re-establish a physical presence

Bath day

The Houston Volunteer Fire Department, Perry Slaney and Fred Brown were out… Continue reading

Emergency service day in Houston

The second annual emergency service day was held on July 11 in… Continue reading

New CAO starts at RDBN

Curtis Helgesen started as the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the… Continue reading

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read