President’s Letter: March 2022

How did you get into mushrooms? This simple question is often a topic of conversation whenever mushroom people gather.  For me, this question also comes up when I talk with the myco-naïve about my own fascination with mushrooms or my involvement with the Colorado Mycological Society. My own mycological interest started in the summer of 2004 when I found myself wondering, “What do you do at a mushroom festival?” That summer my curiosity led me to attend my first Telluride Mushroom Festival where I initially became inoculated by people like Paul Stamets and Gary Lincoff. Attending that Mushroom Festival is where I also first learned about forays, identification, taxonomy, myco-remediation, mycophagy, mushrooms as medicine, as well as topics relating to ethno-mycology (historical and cultural uses of mushrooms by humans). Mushrooms were for me a mysterious subject that I discovered to be quite fascinating and led me to join and get involved with CMS. After joining CMS I learned that even though I really had no prior experience or background with mycology, there is plenty of room for everyone from novice to expert to share knowledge and grow.

Here in the Denver metro area, we are fortunate to have a long standing organization like CMS that is dedicated to exploring the many aspects of and passion for mycology. 2022 marks the 55th year for CMS since its establishment in 1967. As we enter our 55th year, it is exciting to see our society continue to bring together people with a common interest and provide opportunities for further growth, learning, and experiences. The Colorado Mycological Society was established in 1967 for the following purposes as stated in our bylaws: 

…To advance the understanding and to stimulate the interest of the members by:

1. Providing opportunities for students, holding conferences, facilitating cooperative research, arranging forays, and exchanging information among members.

2. Collecting specimens of Colorado fungal flora for preservation in the Herbarium of Fungi of the Denver Botanic Gardens for identification and study.

3. Interchanging specimens and information with other interested parties and organizations.

In CMS, as with any organization made up of volunteers like me, each member plays an essential role in helping contribute to the changes you want to see. Your 2022 board members and committee chairs will always welcome any member’s input, suggestions, advice, and offerings of help with each season’s activities and opportunities. The more I meet and talk with mushroom-minded individuals, it becomes apparent to me that human mushroom communities and culture are like fungi. Both are made up of complex networks that are extensive and diverse, and both depend on each individual member to continue living and grow. We always need interested and curious members who are willing and able to volunteer and support the mission of this organization. Every meeting provides a unique opportunity for each of us to become contributing members of an ever growing and evolving organization. 

This month I leave you with a mushroom video-link featuring the one-and-only myco- personality and author of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, Gary Lincoff. This video features a 2013 introductory lecture given by Mr. Lincoff discussing foray tips and the identification of gilled mushrooms. Even though this talk may be geared towards mushroom beginners, more experienced mushroomers will still appreciate Gary’s oratory prowess and wit.

Mark your calendars and join us as we welcome Dr. Roy Halling in March (and in person!) and begin a new chapter in this 55th year of the Colorado Mycological Society. 

See you at our first meeting on March 14 in Sturm Auditorium at the Denver Botanical Gardens,

Greg Sanchez 
Colorado Mycological Society