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    A mob of Romanian mushroom pickers besieged the Podkarpacie region. Even the foresters are afraid

    After three years, when mushroom pickers from Romania first appeared in the Podkarpacie region, the practice is increasingly flourishing. Although, as EU citizens, they have the right to harvest in publicly accessible forests, representatives of the State Forests alert that mushrooms are being exported in special coolers on a mass scale to western Europe. The prosecutor’s office refuses to institute proceedings, and foresters admit that they are afraid to go out into the field when they might come into contact with a group of several dozen young foreigners.

    “Over the past few years, the mushrooming visits of Romanians have become more civilized,” says the head forester of the Dukla Forestry Commission in the Podkarpacie region, quoted by “Gazeta Wyborcza”. The GW describes that three years ago, collectors drove their cars into the forest and were surprised that in our country, unlike Romania, this is forbidden.

     

    Recently they had already camped at the forest parking lot in Stasiana, and now they were staying at one of the guesthouses. Zbigniew Żywiec, the forest inspector, points out that the problem is the number of mushrooms they collect, which are exported from Poland every day. 

     

    “I know those mushrooms were going to Germany, to France. For industrial harvesting of mushrooms, you need to sign a contract with the State Forests. No such agreement has been signed here” – explains the “GW” interlocutor. 

     

    The Romanians are also worrying the locals – and it’s no longer just about the surrounding forests being cleared of mushrooms. There is also a growing concern about safety issues.

     

    When last year the case was reported to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Krosno, it refused to initiate proceedings due to the lack of legal grounds. Gatherers, as long as they don’t break the law, can use the forests. 

     

    Foresters admit they have concerns about going out on their rounds, where they might encounter a group of dozens of young men. They have also announced that they will strengthen patrols in the forests, with police officers also supporting them.

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