Buyer raises concerns about sustainability

Local mushroom buyer Butch Sheaves is concerned some newbies to the mushroom trade may be coming in overzealous to cash in and are putting the industry’s sustainability in jeopardy.

“Certain areas are getting hammered to death and the mushrooms aren’t getting a chance to flower out,” he said. “This new crowd has just devastated everything…

We’re going to lose some areas, by the look of it, just from over picking.”

The West Coast’s mushroom season is in full swing and spores of newcomers have arrived eager to join the chanterelle rush.

He said chanterelles should not be picked until they’re at least the size of a quarter but some pickers are bringing in mushrooms closer to the size of a dime.

“We call them baby killers,” he said. “Nobody likes to see that.”

He noted mushrooms are bought by the pound so there is no economic advantage in picking them early rather than letting them grow.

He encourages pickers to rotate through several picking spots to give each spot time to regroup and said mushrooms only need 10-12 days to graduate from too small to perfect.

The mushroom picking industry is largely unregulated and Sheaves suggested a permitting process could potentially help reduce the threat of over picking.

“It would be a way of controlling what devastation is taking place,” he said.

Sheaves also urges pickers not to pull mushrooms out from their roots.

“When you do that it destroys the grounds,” he said. “Cut them at the base and leave the root system in.”

Outside of some pickers potentially violating the industry’s unwritten rules, Sheaves said the local mushroom season has picked up after a slow start and he’s seeing seasoned pickers bringing in an average of 30 pounds a day.

“There are certain areas now that come in late in the year; they’re just starting now and the amount of new growth in some areas is really looking good,” he said. “We’ll get another month out of it here.”

Just Posted

Surf Canada Nationals coming to Wick Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“We have a really good thing going here with Surf Canada.”

Cleanup event helps Tofino’s shorebird habitats

“These birds shouldn’t be using plastic and marine debris to build their nests.”

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Tofino and Ucluelet raise over $185K for hospital

“It’s a statement of our town’s values and what makes it so special to live here.”

Fisheries Department announces conservation measures to protect chinook in B.C.

Urgent protection measures include closure of a commercial fishery involving seven endangered stock

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Most Read