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MAW sponsored foray information

John H.
jsh90210
Group Organizer
Silver Spring, MD
Post #: 25
Here is some important information about MAW-sponsored mushroom hunting forays - both for MAWDC Meetup members and MAW members.

1. Foray Notices. MAW schedules mushroom hunting forays on short notice. Foray notices are send to two email lists -- current MAW members and members of our MAWDC Meetup group.

Current MAW members with annual dues up to date receive a direct email describing the foray with specific location and time information. MAW members are not required to RSVP to attend any foray - just show up.

MAWDC Meetup members will receive email notices of forays as a notice of scheduled "meetup" that provide the date and general location, but not specific details. See the article in MAW's quarterly newsletter (the Potomac Sporophore) for more detail about our reasons for this.

2. Required RSVP for MAWDC Meetup members. MAWDC Meetup members must RSVP through our the MAWDC Meetup site to get the specific details for the foray.

3. Limitation of some forays to MAW members. As will be indicated by the Meetup descriptions for each foray, some forays will be limited to MAW members, and others will be open to anyone who has been admitted to MAWDC Meetup.
We expect that at least half of this year's forays will be limited to MAW members. Of course, if you want to attend of foray that is limited to MAW members, the simple solution is to join MAW before that foray.

4. Foray fee of $5 per person. To RSVP, a $5 fee must be paid online via PayPay (on which any credit card is accepted). Foray fees are creditable against full price annual membership dues if you join MAW in the same year. Joining MAW is so inexpensive (and tax-deductible) so it really one makes sense to pay foray fees if you are only going to go on one or two forays.

5. Limitation on total foray attendance. If a foray is open to MAW non-members, the foray leader may set an upper limit on the number of people who can RSVP (so we can control the size of foray groups). Meetup will automatically maintain a "waiting list" if you RSVP for a foray that is oversubscribed and will notify you if a space opens up.

6. Respecting park imposed restrictions on collecting. The purpose of MAW-sponsored forays is educational – to teach you how to recognize mushrooms in their habitat, and observing their distinguishing characteristics with the guidance of expert identifiers. Collecting for the table is not the purpose of most forays. After you have experience on educational forays, you should be able to identify likely habitats and collect mushrooms for consumption on your own. (If you would like company on your own mushroom walks, check out the "Local Forays" forum on our discussion board.)

Public parks often have restrictions designed to protect the habitat, and by their general terms, these restrictions may be interpreted to prohibit mushroom collecting. MAW's policy is to discourage violation of established park rules (even if we disagree with the need for them) and to avoid confrontations where the rules are uncertain. Foray leaders will not act as enforcers of park rules, but if you should decide to collect mushrooms (or anything else) in such areas, you are on your own in terms of dealing with local authorities and possible fines.

Consistent with the foregoing, some of our forays will be designated as "identification only" and others as "collection discretion advised." The first will be used when it is certain that a particular park has clear rules against collection that we understand represent a considered policy that is enforced in practice by the park rangers [Rock Creek Park is a good example of this.] The second is for instances where the administrative policy regarding collecting is somewhat uncertain or we may have had encounters with park authorities in that or a related park in the past that left us with an impression that there may be an issue. We recognize that that collection of fruiting bodies is not harmful to the fungus itself, but we certainly discourage (regardless of park policy) all collection methods that disturb the ecology of the area (and especially the mycelium). As we understand it, picking a specimen mushroom and turning it over to examine it for identification and study would not be a violation of rules that prohibit collecting.

MAW is interested in connecting with private landowners who have an interest in knowing what fungi is growing on their property, and would be willing to allow MAW collection forays as a way to help them learn about what they have. If you discover, or are aware of, areas that look like good places for MAW forays, please send an email to forays@mawdc.org so that we can look into it.
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Silver Spring, MD

Founded Mar 25, 2010

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John Harper, William Needham
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