Other than that specious speculation on the mycelial transfer of toxins between adjacent fungi, this is an excellent and informative article.
But SOMA and the MSSF are just part of the spectrum of Mycological Societies in California. Check out the full list here, at the website of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA): http://namyco.org/clubs/index.html#C
One prominent local society, the Bay Area Mycological Society (BAMS), puts on a free Fungus Fair and public collecting foray every winter at Pt. Reyes. Our next Fungus Fair date is our tenth anniversary at that National Park, and will be held on the weekend of January 4th.
All are welcome to contribute collections and attend the Fair.
This sounds like pretty much the same article that I have seen a couple of times already by Alastair.
I am much less concerned about access for commercial morel hunters like David Campbell, and far more worried about what is constituting the "forest recovery plan" … planting tree farms, after clear cutting?
I have been in the Rim Fire on the Stanislaus side, as part of the UC Berkeley post-burn fungal survey, and the forest is recovering quite nicely all on its own, thank you very much. Burned forests are part of the normal cycle of nutrients, and morels are a big part of forest recovery, as colonizing species. Believe it or not, they don't pop so that humans can make money offa them!
I just got back from the Lake Almanor area and found more "natural" morels than I know what to do with. No burn necessary! BTW, the store price for morels in the Bay Area is now down in the low twenties, which is a far cry from a $30/# wholesale price. The mushroom buyers outside of Chester were paying hunters $8/pound for morels, altho it didn't appear as tho business was booming.
The other advantage to non-burn morels? Little to no grit.
What would y'all have done this spring if Yosemite hadn't burned? Believe me, that morel flash in the pan is not worth losing that forest. It'll come back, just not in OUR lifetimes. That's a real reason to be weeping in our beers.
As far as the "mushroom lobbyists," that's a joke, son. No big bucks, no concessions from lawmakers. Pity the poor folks who put on the Strawberry Music Festival every year; they have been kept out of "their" woods two years running, and they are also taking a big financial hit, but with no other options available.
Here's a thought … just go elsewhere for your spring fungi. The morels are everywhere right now.
There will always be poachers, for mushrooms, deer and whatever else has monetary or food value.
That doesn't make it right or admirable.
It's a pity that we can't get into this fire, this year, but life will go on, and is going on, even for mushroom hunters.
I prefer my wine without the h.
Bay Area Mycological Society
I appreciate your input Jacob, but I suspect that you are not representative of all of the neighbors to Salt Point. I attended a meeting with the Park management a couple of years ago, where a major point of contention was complaints from locals about the poaching and trespassing on private property adjacent to Salt Point. The second biggest reason for closing Salt Point to mushroom foragers or regulating mushroom hunters, was "white flowers in the forest," in other words, TP left behind, so to speak. Of course, that is directly correlated with budget constraints closing bathrooms at Woodside and elsewhere, and there is no reason that one should target mushroom hunters for that etiquette breach any more than any other user of that Park, without DNA verification!
AS to commercial groups hunting at Salt Point, I absolutely agree that it shouldn't happen. I do believe that use to be an abuse of a commons, the only really productive mushroom commons that we have here in our already over-regulated State park system. And I have also seen those huge groups that follow the monthly SOMA picnics there at the Park, which also fly against the park regs that state only small groups at a time should be hunting.
The more people in the woods, the more trampling occurs. One can walk lightly in the woods, but it is not hard to see evidence of places where folks have broken new trails or torn down a slope.
Of course, the four footed pigs also have a hand/trotter in this damage.
The way that current mushroom hunters use that park is also disturbing: I often see duff scraped away from pines, a tell-tale sign of a greedy mushroom hunter, and I have personally observed one small group of humans, not pigs, tearing the duff away from all of the pines they walked up to, in search of their porcini buttons.
This topic needs to be discussed in an open manner, and all uses there looked at a bit harder.
I love that park, but one can love something to death. In my opinion, no commercial mushroom hunting should be allowed at that Park, whether by collecting more than one's fair share of mushrooms for sale to markets or restaurants, or taking paid commercial forays to that Park.
I have a lot of respect for Todd Farceau as well as most of the folks quoted in this article. If one is charging money to others to hunt in one of the very rare places where mushrooming is free to all,
it sets the wrong tone, and makes those mushrooms a commodity not a right.
Mushrooms, not profit, for the people at OUR Salt Point.
Bay Area Mycological Society
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