A sign warning mushroom pickers and others passing by of potential danger.

Soda Creek Band issues warning to mushroom pickers

The Xat’sull First Nation has issued a notice to mushroom pickers trespassing in their territory.

The Xat’sull First Nation (Soda Creek) has issued a notice to mushroom pickers trespassing in their territory.

Soda Creek Indian Band Chief Andrea Gilbert said the area was heavily impacted by last year’s wildfires on both the reserve and within the boundaries of its traditional territory.

“We have been experiencing instances where mushroom pickers are trespassing on to Deep Creek Reserve,” Gilbert said. “Camping or harvesting of plant or animal material is strictly prohibited on our reserve lands. This is private land. The safety of all persons is a concern when trespassing — please take this into consideration.”

Gilbert said signs began to be put up around the Deep Creek Reserve boundary on Wednesday.

“We have also experienced an increased number of mushroom pickers within our traditional territory, which is utilized extensively by our members for traditional use purposes,” she said.

“We ask that you be mindful that this area is of utmost importance to Soda Creek members and we ask that if you pack it in, you pack it out. Wildlife have already been disrupted by the fires, having large amounts of people and garbage out there will not help the populations return.”

She noted Category 2 and 3 fires are currently banned by the Cariboo Fire Centre, however, added the band has observed many campfires around its community and is concerned.

“We do not want to see any human-caused fires,” she said. “We want people to follow the protocols if they are having campfires by watching them closely, having water on hand, and making sure they have a large enough guard around them.”

“We have notified the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources, the RCMP and wildfire (service) to our concerns.”

Editor’s note: Originally the article quoted Chief Andrea Gilbert saying there was a campfire ban, including campfires.

However, Gilbert clarified Thursday that while there isn’t a campfire ban in place presently, the band is urging people to be very cautious if they are having one.

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