The Williams Lake Indian Band has closed several mushroom-picking areas within its reserve land because of devastation from last summer’s wildfires.
Chief Ann Louie stated in a notice from the band Friday the moved comes because there has been an inundation of people entering the reserve land base, without permission, causing environmental and safety issues.
WLIB had implemented a review and an analysis of the environmental impacts of the fires regarding the burned timber and had concluded that quick removal of the timber was required and have established comprehensive guidelines, including safety precautions for that removal.
Safety within the active logging and burned areas is now a major concern and in response to the many people entering those areas the WLIB has placed numerous signage around the reserve lands restricting access.
The areas outlined as no go zones for harvesting mushrooms are Williams Lake No. 1, Asahal No. 2, Fire Mile No. 3, James Louie No. 3A and Carpenter No. 15.
The WLIB is therefore requesting that mushroom harvesters respect this decision.
Last month the Tsilhqot’in National Government announced it was requiring all mushrooms harvesters and buyers to get a permit if going into Tsilhqot’in territory.
“If not organized, the harvest has the potential to be a hazard not only to people’s health, but also the culturally sensitive sites that we have throughout our area,” TNG Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse told the Tribune. “The wildfires of 2017 have led to the Tsilhqot’in having an increased role in managing every aspect of our lands. This is part of that process. We ask all harvesters and buyers to purchase a permit if they are not from the Tsilhqot’in Nation.”