Introduction to Forest Fungi – bringing them out of the dark
- Start Date: October 23, 2020
- End Date: October 23, 2020
- Time: 9am-4pm
- City: Revelstoke BC
- Venue: Various field sites
- Instructor: Tyson Ehlers, B.S.F., R.P.Bio.
PHOTOS: Tyson Ehlers
Fungi play essential ecological roles that shape our environment. They also provide food, medicines, and technology. Fungi are highly diverse, with an estimated 18,000 species in BC (based on an average of about 6 times the number of plants over a given area). Yet we have only documented around 3000 species in BC, and fungi are generally overlooked and largely missing from ecological inventories.
For this fun event we will spend a day in the field looking for local fungi and learn how to collect and identify them. We will explore a variety of habitats and discuss the biology, ecology, and other fascinating facts of the fungi we find. This workshop is entirely field based and is intended to inspire appreciation for the diversity and importance of fungi in terrestrial ecosystems, while providing some practical hands-on identification and collection techniques.
The workshop is for ecologists wanting to gain a greater appreciation and awareness of the diversity and ecological roles of fungi. It will be informative, but fun and informal.
Who should attend?
This course will be of interest to students, ecological practitioners from all backgrounds, foragers, and interested public.
Tyson Ehlers is a professional biologist and a forest ecologist from the Slocan Valley who has been fascinated by fungi for most of his life. He has worked on numerous mycological inventory and research projects throughout BC for over 20 years. His work on economically important wild-harvested mushrooms such as chanterelles and pine mushrooms has contributed to a better understanding of their ecology and recognition in forest management planning. Tyson has taught wild mushroom identification courses and guided at mushroom-themed events across BC for many years. He is a member of the Pacific Northwest Key Council, which was formed in 1974 to bring amateurs and professional mycologists together to further mycological knowledge. Tyson is an avid mushroom hunter and spends much of his time in the forest collecting mushrooms, both for the kitchen and for the microscope. Tyson has authored several mycological publications, including a guidebook to mushrooms in the Kootenays.
Preparation and what to bring
Come prepared to spend the whole day outside, rain or shine. We recommend you come prepared with a change of clothes, rain gear, and standard field gear including sturdy footwear, bear spray, a whistle, a knife, plenty of water, and food. You may also want to bring a GPS, a camera, a collecting container (basket/bucket/cloth bag), and a hand lens.
The following resources are not mandatory but are recommended:
- Matchmaker Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest – a free program to help identify mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. It contains a database of over 4000 descriptions of gilled and nongilled mushrooms. There is an interface for entering mushroom characteristics to find species that fit those characteristics. There are over 5800 illustrations of over 2200 species, from 170 different photographers.
- The following guidebooks have Tyson’s seal of approval:
- Common Mushrooms of the Northwest, Duane Sept
- Mushrooms Demystified, David Arora
- All that the Rain Promises and More, David Arora
- Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, Trudell and Ammirati
CMI Member: $65
Bagged lunches $15 (Optional. Catered by La Baguette, includes a wrap, a baked good, some fruit and a house-made granola bar.)
NOTE: You can purchase your membership at the same time as you register to save $45 on your registration fee. See more about membership here.
Due to COVID-19 enrollment for this workshop will be kept small so be sure to register right away to secure your spot.
Where to stay?
We have set up a discounted group rate at the Stoke Hotel of $94 + tax /night, or $109+tax /night for double queen room. Hot breakfast included, outdoor hot tub on site. When booking your room ask for the “CMI rate.”
CMI will be following the guidelines provided by the Centre for Disease Control and the government of British Columbia to keep us all safe during the COVID19 Pandemic. See here for current protocols – all students must review this document before the field component of this course.
PHOTO: Tyson Ehlers