(Continued from mushroom industry)
How does deforestation affect the mushrooms?
Randy: The impact of loss of tree cover on mushrooms is not known. Logging companies are saying that they come back, but the evidence is scanty. I have watched patch after patch of mother beds....
Island Lumber has harvested riparian zones, where you could find all that was left of giant fields of Matsutake (pine mushrooms). They harvest right to the river and lake edge. It is heli-logging, but that is what they do.
If you go to Paris, or many other small communities in B.C., the people will quickly tell you that they see many benefits from the mushroom industry. Mushroom pickers eat in their restaurants and stay in their hotels, providing instant economic benefits.
A logging company might spend three billion dollars on a machine and say they have contributed to the economy, but we don't sell those machines in Canada.
Is a low dollar better for the economy? It is for corporations who export our raw resources. But most Canadians, particularly small businesses, import. Small firms, who provide local jobs, are at a disadvantage competing with a large business that imports. For example, one out of sixty containers brought in by Wal-Mart will be inspected, versus every single container brought in by a small local firm. Inspection frequently results in expensive damages, which are not reimbursed.
So, you are saying that the mushroom industry would quickly blossom if regulated?
It would quickly blossom. In Matsutake mushrooms alone, 20 million dollars of product is shipped out of the province annually. That is the picker price; exporters charge at least a hundred times that amount. For every dollar per pound paid to pickers, one to two hundred dollars per pound is the price for the end buyer.
Unfortunately, the definitive information cannot be obtained. The companies involved are not Canadian, and so are exempt from Freedom of Information Laws.
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