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10 Tuesday June 2 2015 All will benefit from the long hours of work and study you each have put into graduating. Congratulations PWK Grads of 2015 Congratulations PWK Grads May you be successful in all of your future endeavours. The South Slave Divisional Education Council would like to extend our sincere congratulations to the 2015 P.W. Kaeser High School Graduates Best wishes as you begin to create your own future. Remember graduation is not the end its a new beginning. South Slave Divisional Education Council MLAs worry as southerners flood unregulated NWT morel mushroom market By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Ascaraftercarpackedwithpickersandpails crossesthe60thparalleltoharvestmorelmush- rooms this month some in the legislature are worriedthegovernmentisill-preparedtodeal with a possible disaster or even keep track of the touted economic benets to the territory. Hay River South MLA Jane Groenewegen expressed concern that southerners are pour- ingintotheterritorywithnoformalizedsystem to keep track of their safety and whereabouts to protect the environment and surrounding communities and to monitor the economic impacts of the harvest on the NWT. We have many many non-residents who havecometotheNorthwestTerritories.Itslike amushroomrushoutthereshesaid.Thereis noregistry.Thereisnoplacetosignin.Wedont knowtheirnames.Wedontknowwheretheyre from. We dont know who their next of kin are. There are all kind of dangers in the bush and thats where these people are going to be oper- ating and hanging out and camping. You cant come into the Northwest Ter- ritories and take one sh out of our rivers or lakes without a non-resident shing licence. Youcanthuntyoucantkillananimalyetyou can come in here and be part of what is being touted as come and make 500 or 1000 a day. Why cant there be a registry of some kind set up at the border where they are all coming in on rubber tire trafc...It would be really nicetoknowwhotheyareandwheretheyare. At least one picker was lost for over nine hours in the bush near Kakisa before he wan- dered back out on the highway last week. While no other negative reports have come from the community which has been most heavily bombarded with a steady ow of pick- ers since the season began in late May Groe- newegen worries that could change rapidly. Im concerned that yes this may gener- ate a lot of money but how much is it going to cost us when one campre or one cigarette butt goes into our extremely dry forest and burns the Northwest Territories down she asked Industry Tourism and Investment ITI Minister David Ramsay last Friday. RamsaysaidMotherNaturewouldhavethe largestroleindeterminingthesuccessofpick- ersbutsaidtheharvestcouldgenerateasmuch as 10 million with some rain. How much of that will stay in the NWT however he admit- ted he has no real way of knowing. Our belief here is there is going to be a very good harvest once the rain hits next week and we will see some economic benet. We havent to my knowledge done a com- plete cost-benet analysis on what it would be he said Friday. Once this morel season is over perhaps we could take a look and try to quantify what the economic uptake was on the harvest this summer. Hay River North MLA Robert Bouchard suggested the GNWT implement surveys similar to those done for people in the NWTs parks to determine how many pickers are southern and how many are local. As for the safety issue Ramsay said ITI continues to work with its partners in Envi- ronment and Natural Resources ENR Mu- nicipal and Community Affairs and Justice along with the RCMP. Changes to the regulatory system that would address the morel harvest are under- way in the NWT. MLAs gave second reading to proposed amendments to the Forest Man- agement Act that would allow the Minister of ENR to regulate the harvest of non-tim- ber forest products including mushrooms. RepeatedrequestsbytheJournalforinforma- tion on the status of the bill were unsuccessful. The lack of trespass laws in the NWT which challengetheabilitytolimitactivitiesonprivate land is also being looked at but wont be done in time for this years morel harvesting season. InthemeantimeRamsaysaidITIcontinues to focus its resources on encouraging North- erners to make money off the bumper crop. Around 1200 people attended workshops put on throughout the spring by ITI to encourage locals to take advantage of and benet from the possible boon. Walking tours are now taking place to train new NWT harvesters. Themostimportantthingiswearetryingto getlocalpeopleouttoharvestthemorelshesaid. PhotoWikipediaCommons Car loads of young southerners are pouring into the NWT to pick the bumper crop of morel mushrooms an industry thats currently unregulated in the territory. INDUSTRY MOREL HARVEST