CACHE CREEK, B.C. _ Devastating wildfires in British Columbia’s southern Interior last summer have created the potential for a lucrative mushroom harvest this spring, and a First Nation in the region is moving to regulate pickers on its land.
A news release from the Secwepemc Nation says it is asserting its jurisdiction to manage forest resources in the area of the Elephant Hill wildfire west of Kamloops, which scorched nearly 2,000 square kilometres of bush.
Studies, including one published in October 2016 in the online magazine Forest Ecology and Management, confirm bumper crops of prized morel mushrooms can almost always be found a year after a major wildfire.
Several bands of the 17-band Secwepemc Nation say the mushrooms will flourish this spring within the Elephant Hill fire boundaries and only permitted harvesters will be allowed into the area in order to regulate the harvest and prevent damage to the recovering land.
A website managed by the First Nation says permits will be required to harvest, buy or process morel mushrooms from the region, and permits for camping within the territory are also mandatory.
A harvesting permit costs $20, a camping permit is $30 and buyers must pay $500 for a permit to get mushrooms from the area that will be monitored daily by the Secwepemc Territorial Patrol.