Techniques and Instruments of Value Production and Translation in Canadian Wild Food Harvesting

Commercial sourcing of wild foods, such as chanterelle mushrooms or wild blueberries, often requires accessing forests with competing uses. They might also be timberlands for conventional forestry, or parks for recreation or conservation. The conflicts that result illustrate how nature and natural resources are valued in different ways in different worlds: by forest managers or forest users, and by wild food consumers, concerned about conservation, or wild food harvesters, concerned about production. Focusing on a case study of resource conflict in a group of forests important to the wild mushroom trade, this project uses interviews and participant-observation to document how the people involved negotiate their diverse understandings of forest values (or fail to). It then contextualizes this example in an analysis of similar conflicts elsewhere in North America. The final result is a set of guidelines for negotiating divergent forest interests, of use in enhancing the social, environmental and economic value of wild products in particular, and of forests and forest products in general.

Dylan Gordon
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Shiho Satsuka