Yukon's morel mushroom harvest worth about $4M
Harvest estimated at 500,000 pounds
Yukon officials estimate $3- to $4-million worth of morel mushrooms were exported from the territory this summer.
The mushroom prized by gourmets grows in areas burnt by forest fires.
Robin Sharples has been keeping tabs on the mushroom pickers for the Yukon Government. She says only a fraction of the commercial pickers, just 150 people, registered with the government.
Sharples' best estimate on the morel harvest is 500,000 pounds.
"So at $12 a pound wet, that's about $3- to $4-million that was taken out of there. It was a good year," she said.
Sharples says hundreds of pounds more were picked for personal use.
She says lands officers were in the field last week cleaning up garbage and destroying some of the outhouses left behind.
"They found a large number of truck tires as well so they were able to load them up and remove them from the site,"she said. "As far as garbage and scraps and stuff like that, they said it wasn't too bad."
Sharples expects some of the same mushroom crews will be in the N.W.T. next summer.