CMS Member Forays

COVID-19 Guidelines for 2020/2021 Season

COVID-19 UPDATE: CMS has been holding forays in accordance with the State of Oregon guidance for outdoor recreation organizations; which have been exempted from the  impending two week freeze issued by the Oregon State Governor. 

As we are all aware things are different in light of the current pandemic.  New situation call for new ways of doing things.  Not everything will be different, but here are some changes to our past practices concerning forays.

1.    Forays will be limited to 10.  This limit is for two reasons; safer with fewer persons and the lack of carpooling means more cars. Most foray spots have limited parking available. Please don’t try to sign up for every foray, let others have the opportunity to participate as well.

2.    At the meet up spot and any other stop where we gather to discuss plans or show our finds, masks are mandatory.

3.    We hope you sign up with others in your bubble so that you can share rides.  We will no longer be encouraging or facilitation car pooling. 

4.    We are planning on increasing the number of forays to compensate for the smaller groups.  One or two in September, and four each in October and November.  There will be forays in December and January as well.  All of this planning is of course contingent on the weather cooperating.

5.    Registration will continue as in the past; which includes a lottery system among those that register to select who will be able to attend.

What is a Foray and who can attend

When people who love wild mushrooms say “foray,” they’re talking about organizing a group to go into the forest to look for mushrooms. The purpose of a CMS foray is education, first and foremost. Forays can also be to hunt for edibles, collect for scientific study, or to just look at the beauty and diversity of mushrooms.  Most CMS forays are for the day (about 9:00 am to 3:30 pm). They can be on a weekend or sometimes during the week. We also do have some weekend-long forays where we stay in cabins, yurts, or a campsite, for Friday and Saturday nights.

CMS Forays are FREE. But, are only open to CMS members.  CMS typically offers 9 to 12 single day forays and one or two weekend-long forays each year (you pay food and lodging for weekend forays). Each foray is lead by a CMS member that typically has 10 or more years experience in mushroom hunting. Not all foray leaders can identify every mushroom that is found. However, most can identify mushrooms to genus level, and all can make sure you do not end up with something non-edible in your basket – unless you are interested in it for study purposes.

Foray locations are generally selected to accommodate all levels of physical ability, including children. Foray locations are also selected with safety in mind to ensure that access into and out of the woods is easily accessible and identifiable. Some are at established campgrounds or trails, while some are not. Lastly, foray locations must be able to accommodate vehicle access and parking for all participants

CMS Members may view the CMS Foray Schedule.  Foray announcements are also emailed to all persons on the CMS Newsletter list.  

If you would like to attend a CMS Foray, you can become a member online on our CMS Membership PageMembership starts at $15. Guests or friends that are not members are not permitted on forays. If you are a CMS Member and want to bring a friend on a foray, consider purchasing a Gift Membership in the CMS Store.

To learn more about Foray Registration and what to expect on a foray, read on …

Foray Registration and Selection Process

All foray registrations take place online; you must be logged in. You may access the Registration form from the My Membership page during the registration dates. Registrations normally start at 6pm on the registration start date and end at 6pm on the registration end date. All adults (anyone over the age of 16) are required to register separately, stating a foray partner does not register them. If you have a Family membership you may register both yourself and other family members from your login.

We always have more people register than we have openings to attend – sometimes 3 to 4 times more. The selection process is done through a series of random drawings, that does favor new CMS members who have never attended a CMS foray (we are all about educating new people). For the first 50% of the selection, only new CMS members who have never attended a foray are included in the drawing. Then, everyone is included for the last 50% selection. After those 2 selections, one last drawing is done with everyone to select 3 to 4 people to be on the Waiting List, as we always have people that cancel prior to the foray.

How does it work if I specify a foray partner? If two or more people register as partners, we assume that you only want to attend if you all get to go together. So, your entry into the drawing is a single entry. If that number is selected, you all get to go.

How are notifications done? After the selection process is complete, 3 emails are sent. Everyone who was selected to attend will receive an email notifying them of their selection and informing them of all the foray meetup details. A second email is sent to the persons on the Waiting List to let them know they may be able to go if we have people cancel. A third email is sent to the remaining persons to let them know they might as well make other plans.

Recommended Minimum Gear needed

Mushroom Foray Equipment
  • Most Important: A watch to keep track of the time.
  • A whistle if you have one – for safety.
  • Brightly colored outer clothing or a safety vest is also recommended.
  • Be prepared! Oregon is wet and rainy. Rain gear, warm clothes, and waterproof boots are best. It is always better to bring extra clothes than be cold.
  • Mushroom basket or container, Pocket Knife and soft brush for wiping mushrooms clean.
  • Food and water, forays last 5-6 hours (including drive time).
  • Fully charged cell phone, if you have one.
  • An Epipen if you need one.
  • Personal Use Mushroom Permit – You will be notified if a mushroom permit is required for your destined area.
  • Parking Pass (or cash) – You will be notified if a parking pass is required for your destined area.

Optional Gear

  • A camera (optional for taking pictures).
  • Hand lens – for looking at mushrooms up close.
  • A compass or handheld GPS unit.
  • A backpack with overnight gear: Blanket, extra clothing, matches, lighter or fire starter. Note: We take great care in choosing foray locations that are not far off of a road to minimize the risk of anyone getting lost. Please pay attention to your foray leaders instructions and stay within hearing distance of a foray buddy at all times.
  • We do not allow pets on CMS forays.

Foray Rules and Etiquette

  1. Waiver Form. As part of the Registration process, each Adult participant is asked to acknowledge a CMS standard waiver form.  Click here to download Liability Waiver Form.img_4566
  2. Permit. If required in the mushroom hunting area, you may not collect mushrooms without one. You may still accompany us and participate in the educational portion of the foray.
  3. Safety Information.  When you gather at the meeting location, the Foray Leader will provide some safety instructions and a description of the foray area and its boundaries.  Please pay close attention to this information.
  4. Be Courteous. You must be considerate of the Foray Leader and your fellow participants.
  5. No Pets. Service animals are allowed, please notify the foray leader in advance.
  6. You must be counted. Before leaving any foray area, including the parking lot, the Foray Leader will count the number of participants. If you leave the area or the foray you must tell the Foray Leader.
  7. Watch/Time Piece. At all times during the foray, you must have the accurate time or buddy up with someone who has a timepiece.
  8. Several Locations. Often forays will cover one or more areas or stops. The leader will give a time for everyone to return to a particular location. Please return promptly at the designated time. 
  9. Aware of Location. Pay attention to your surroundings and which direction you are traveling. This will help you identify the habitat for mushrooms and help keep you from getting lost. It is always best to have a foray buddy. Carry a compass or GPS if you have one.
  10. Please Listen. These forays are offered for everyone’s enjoyment and education. Please be considerate and helpful to those with less experience. The primary purpose of the foray is to educate you about mushrooms and their habitat. Our most important objective is to help you learn safe mushroom collection practices and to ensure everyone’s safety in the woods. This is not a training for commercial mushroom pickers. If the Host of the foray determines at any time that you are not following the rules or instructions, you will be asked to leave and no longer allowed to participate in this foray or possibly future forays. The Foray Leader may not be a mushroom ID expert. Never eat any mushroom that you have not personally collected and absolutely identified as edible. Be sure to read the Edibility Guidelines. When in doubt, throw it out! Also be aware of your physical limits. We do not want you to get hurt or lost. We endeavor to provide a safe, educational experience, but ultimately, you are responsible for your own safety. CMS assumes no liability.
  11. Please do not return to the location of CMS forays. Our foray leaders spend considerable time and efforts finding good locations appropriate for large groups. These spots are few and hard to identify. We use them again and again over the years for teaching and forays. If they become overwhelmed or overused we need to identify new locations. Pay attention to the habitat, elevation, and dominant plant species at the foray site to help you identify other locations for your own forays.

Outdoor Safety Tips from USDA Forest Service

Foray Leader Requirements and Process