For Release: April 26, 2024

Skwlāx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw (Chase, BC)-Spring is traditionally the time members of
Skwlāx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw go onto their territory to harvest edible mushrooms. This year, the process has provided some challenges.

Not only is the band reeling from the 2023 Bush Creek East wildfire, but now outside pickers are coming onto the reserve to harvest what edible mushrooms have sprouted.

“We have seen instances of these pickers going onto band land on a Forest Service Road near Scotch Creek and near Lee Creek,” says Kukpi7 James Tomma. “In one case these outside pickers set up a camp and were selling the product to a commercial vendor.”

 

“This will not be tolerated,” Tomma adds. “Any mushrooms growing on Band land belong to the members. They have the first right to pick them as it is one of their traditional food sources. We aren’t accepting outside pickers who want to set up a camp—especially when they start fires. As the land recovers from the 2023 Bush Creek East wildfire, this is a dangerous action.”

Officials with the SteS Territorial Stewardship department and the Band security operation have had conversations with unauthorized pickers in the last few weeks.

“Any non-band members caught harvesting the mushrooms, or setting up these camps will be dealt with in a harsher manner,” Kukpi7 Tomma explains. “This could very well include prosecution for trespassing.”

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