2017-2018 CMS Year in Review

This year’s mushroom season got off to a slow start due to a lack of early rains. But, if you hung in there we made up for it in the long winter mushroom season that lasted into late April.  Then, Spring mushrooms came on long gangbusters.  There were plenty of opportunities throughout the year for members to improve their foraging and mushroom identification skills. This year’s line-up of speakers at our monthly meetings was wide-ranging and “mind-expanding”, including 2 meetings that filled the room to capacity. We also started some new programs, awarded scholarships, and provided mentorship to the new Wild Waters Mushroom Club.

2017-2018 CMS Board of Directors (all volunteer)

  • President: Cheshire Mayrsohn
  • Vice President & Speakers: Chris Melotti
  • Treasurer: Pavel Gubanikhin
  • Secretary: Kristen Liberty (2017)
  • Heather Sielicki (2018)
  • Membership Chairperson: Angela Stephens
  • Foray Coordinator: Matthew Johnson
  • Web & Communications: Sandy Patton
  • NAMA Laison: Lee Yamada
  • Member at large: Harriet Kelly

CMS Meetings

  • Amazon Community Center, 3rd Wednesday of the month, open to the public
  • Total attendance of 389 persons for September 2017 thru April 2018
  • September: David Stone, Douglas Fir National Monument (25)
  • October: Peter McCoy, Human and Fungal Relations, Past, Present, and Future (85)
  • November: David Pills, A travelogue from the 9th International Workshop on Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms (34)
  • December: Ja Schindler, Mushroom Cultivation: Bioregional Diversity (55)
  • January: Dr. Erica Cline, Toxic Metals in Wild Harvested Mushrooms (33)
  • February: Brooke Fochuk and Kelly Slocum, Truffle Hunting with Dogs (38 + 2 dogs)
  • March: Tom & Sheri Eckert, Psilocybin Services Initiative (80)
  • April: Christian Schwarz, North American Mycflora Project (39)

Community Forays & Classes

  • Offered through the City of Eugene Parks & Rec
  • Family Foray to Hendricks park in October – Pavel Gubanikhin enjoyed hosting 3 families at Hendricks park for the Family foray
  • Introduction to Wild Mushroom Identification Class in October, taught by Ron & Sandy Patton – 26 people attended
  • Adult foray in November with Ron & Sandy Patton – 12 people enjoyed this instructional foray.
  • May Mushroom Gardening Class taught by Ja Schindler – 17 persons attended

Mount Pisgah Mushroom Festival Highlights

  • Total # of species: 409!  (Yes, we beat the  2013 record year of 404)
  • New species: 56 (tough to beat last year’s record of 69)
  • Best in Show:  Incense-cedar Polypore (Postia amara; Jesse Wilson)
    1stPlace:  Scaly-stalked Puffball (Battarrea phalloides; brought in by Susie Holmes; collected by Harper Keeler)
    2nd Place: Goat’s Beard (Hericium abietis; Bobby Jones)
  • Guest Identifiers: Noah Siegel (Co-author of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast), Steve Trudell (Univ. of Washington/Seattle, Co-author of Mushrooms of the PNW), Shannon Adams (PSMS/Seattle), Erin Blanchard (San Francisco), Mike Potts (Talent, near Ashland/S. Oregon)
  • The new Scientific Illustrations was a big hit!- LCC Professor and CMS Member Susie Holmes pulled together a fabulous interactive display titled “Scientific Illustrations” in the back corner of the White Oak Pavillion. There was a microscope on hand for viewing the finer details to be illustrated along with numerous examples of scientifically accurate artwork. LCC students helped staff the table which allowed kids of all ages to participate.

Web & Communications Team Highlights

  • The CMS website was re-organized over the summer of 2017 to make information a little easier to find. This included new pages for “How to Get Involved”, “Mushroom ID Help”, “Volunteer Opportunities”, “CMS Board Activities”, and “CMS Interest Groups.
  • As of June 1, 2018:
  • From June 2017 through May 2018 the team (mostly Heather Sielicki) posted over 125 stories about Fungi in the News on the CMS Facebook and Twitter pages. Heather also shared recipes and kept the CMS online community aware of upcoming mushroom events by CMS and in the PNW at large. Total Facebook posts were 249.
  • An “Edible Mushrooms Forecast” was included in the CMS Enews from September 2017 through May 2018. Nothing scientific, just the experiences and opinions of CMS Enews Editor Sandy Patton and a few CMS foray friends she reached out to each month.
  • The Mushroom of the Month features were: June 2017-Hedgehog, July 2017- Beyond Edibles: Mycenas, Marasmia, Lepiotas and more, August 2017 – Russula brevipes and Lobster, October 2017 – King Bolete, November 2017 – Waxy Caps, December 2017 – Candy Caps, January 2018 – Yellowfoot & Hedgehogs, February 2018 – Cat’s Tongue, March 2018 – Black Trumpet, April 2018 – Spring Bolete, May 2018 – Backyard Mushroom Cultivation.

Membership Highlights

  • We began the year with 194 paid memberships and ended with 259 paid memberships; a 33% increase.
  • We seem to be growing not only in numbers but also in geography. 23 of our memberships are from Portland and surrounding areas, 12 of our memberships are in the south Medford/Ashland area, 14 are on the coast (north and south), we have 5 memberships in Roseburg, 6 in the Bend area, and 18 in the Corvallis/Philomath area. We also have 3 members in California, 3 in Washington, 1 in Illinois, and 1 in New York!

CMS Members Only Forays

  • We held 12 forays from September through June. 
  • We also scheduled a Fall Mushroom Camp for November at HJ Andrews, unfortunately, that was “snowed out”.
  • Foray attendance for the year: 208 adults and 20 youth
  • September – Foray to the Douglas Fir National Monument with Chris Melotti and David Stone
  • October – Coast foray with Matthew Johnson, 3 forays to collect for the mushroom festival: Coast with Marcia Peeters, the Cascades with Cheshire Mayrsohn, and the Cascades with Harriet Kelly
  • November – 2 forays – Coast foray with Bruce Newhouse and Thanksgiving foray to the lower Cascades with Joe Spivack
  • December – Candy Cap foray with Ron & Sandy Patton
  • January – Foray to Cottage Grove area with Matthew Johnson
  • February – Foray to the lower Cascades with Cheshire Mayrsohn
  • May – Morel foray with Pavel Gubanikhin & Toby Esthay
  • June – Spring Bolete Foray with Pavel & Matthew

Scholarships Awarded

  • $1000 to Edward Barge for “Community and population ecology of foliar endophytes associated with Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood) in the Pacific Northwest”.
  • $1000 to Gillian Bergmann for “Characterizing fungal endophytes of Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (coastal douglas fir) and their role in seedling drought response”.

Other Events and Accomplishments

  • CMS was represented at the Oregon Country Fair as part of the Wild Edibles booth in the Community Village. Educational materials and mushroom models were displayed and 2 talks on “How Fungi can save the World” were provided.
  • We initiated CMS Interest Groups in the fall of 2017. We had a very positive response with 33 members registering to participate. Now, we need to get them all “moving & active”.
  • We did a 100 book reprint of our very popular Wild Mushroom Cookbooks in October 2017.
  • Matthew Johnson & Lee Yamada staffed a wild mushroom informational booth at the Wildcraft Harvest Festival in October 2017.
  • In addition to providing advice to the Wild Rivers Mushroom Club regarding their 1st annual Mushroom Festival; we also sent a generous box of mushroom-related items (CMS Cookbook, CMS Hoodie, Mushroom Earrings & Ornaments) for their silent auction.
  • Five CMS members formed Macrofungi of Lane County Oregon (MLCO) as a CMS Interest Group in January of 2018. We will be hearing more about this in the coming year. 
  • Heather & Pavel hosted a CMS mushroom potluck at their home in February 2018.

CMS Members in the Community

In adition to “official” CMS sponsored educational events, CMS members were independently out in the community spreading their love and knowledge of fungi:

  • Peg Boulay and Bruce Newhouse taught a class at REI title “Forest Treasures: Finding and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms”. They also lead the McKenzie River Trust mushroom walk at Finn Rock Beach. Bruce led a fungal appreciation walk for Oregon Wild.
  • Chris Melotti & Molly Widmer – Assisted with the Yachats mushroom festival by providing mushroom identification expertise and giving a mushroom walk.  Talked about fungal science and mushroom ID to the residence of the Eugene Hotel. They also led two mushroom walks at Mount Pisgah and one at Hendricks Park.
  • Matthew Johnson lead mushroom walks at the Yachats mushroom festival.
  • Cheshire Mayrsohn and Harriet Kelly spoke to the Bend Mushroom club in April 2018 about Mushroom and Lichen dyeing
  • Cheshire Mayrsohn taught a mushroom dye class and a lichen dye class at the Eugene Textile Center. 
  • Cheshire Mayrsohn and Lee Yamada have been meeting throughout the year with the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) regarding the 2018 annual NAMA foray that will be held in Salem Oregon. Although CMS has chosen not to be an official co-sponsor of the foray, these members are committed to helping make this a successful 3-day event by providing 10 foray sites and foray leaders for the weekend.

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