Mushroom monitoring and landscape recovery on Elephant Hill
May 18, 2018
KAMLOOPS – As part of wildfire recovery efforts following the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire, government is partnering with local First Nations to help protect and restore burnt areas and support local First Nations, as they monitor this spring’s mushroom harvest.
With an anticipated influx of individual mushroom harvesters and commercial buyers, steps are being taken to make sure mushroom harvesting in the region is done responsibly, and will not cause further damage.
“We are partnering with First Nations to make sure this area is preserved for future generations,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “As mushroom season begins, we urge anyone interested in harvesting mushrooms to be responsible and respectful.”
The Secwepemc communities have developed a management plan for the Elephant Hill area. As ancestral caretakers of that land, they are encouraging responsible, safe and low-impact mushroom harvesting. The plan, the first of its kind in B.C., charges a nominal $20 fee to individual pickers, and $500 to mushroom buyers. In exchange, pickers and buyers receive educational materials, safety tips and rudimentary camping services.
Harvesting in the affected area will be monitored by experienced Secwepemc land stewards.
“Te m-sq7es re syecwmíns-kucw re tmicws-kucw ell re séwllkwe n Secwepemcúlecw, ell wellnewi7s-kucw re syecwmíntem-kucw. Me7 re syecwmíntem-kucw me7 re syecwmíntels-kucw ell wel me7 yews. (We have been managing and using the forests since time immemorial),” said Kukpi7 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.”
The British Columbia government’s support of the First Nation stewardship role in the Elephant Hill area demonstrates its ongoing commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
As part of the environmental recovery process, the B.C. government has closed the affected region to motorized vehicles (including automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and all types of off-road recreational vehicles) except on existing roads. The closure was implemented on May 17, 2018, and will remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2018.
Harvesting Morel Mushrooms in the Secwépemc Territory: http://www.elephanthillfire.com
Information and safety tips for picking mushrooms in wildfire-affected areas are available by calling FrontCounter BC at 1 877 855-3222 toll-free, or by visiting: www.gov.bc.ca/mushroompicking
Learn more about the closure of the Elephant Hill area to motorized vehicles:
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development
250 356-7506Kukpi7 Ron Ignace
Skeetchestn Indian Band, Secwepemc Nation