CMS/RMNP Mycoblitz —The second Colorado Mycological Society/Rocky Mountain National Park Mycoblitz will be held September 18th, 19th, and 20th (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). The CMS/RMNP Mycoblitz is a scientific endeavor to collect, identify, and begin an inventory of mushrooms that grow in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). A mycoblitz is when a group of people get together for a short period of time and focus on identifying the mushrooms in a given area.

CMS has once again obtained a research permit to host a mycoblitz in RMNP. Examples of all species that are collected will be housed both at the Denver Botanical Gardens Herbarium of Fungi and the RMNP herbarium. This is a great opportunity for you to participate in the scientific collection of mushrooms, and a great way to learn new mushrooms. This is a very exciting event for CMS, and it will not be successful without ample participation from the club, so I hope you can join us. Top

Mycoblitz Procedure — Procedures for the 2009 Mycoblitz are a little different from last year's event. Most notably the mycoblitz will begin on Friday, September 18th. Also there will be no pre-registration precedure. Here is how the mycoblitz will work for both Friday, September 18th, and Saturday, September 19th. Sunday, Septmeber 20th, will be devoted to mushroom identification and there will be no forays scheduled that day. When you arrive in Estes Park, go to the Park Headquarters area and McLaren Hall (building where the identification took place last year). See map for location of McLaren Hall. Onsite registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. All participants will be issued a name tag and lanyard at this time. Top

At 8:30 a.m. all participants will meet for a 30-minute safety and introductory talk from the RMNP. This will immediately be followed by a short briefing on hunting and collecting specimens for the mycoblitz. We will then break up into small groups. Each group will have a group leader (Leaders will be knowledgeable mushroom hunters from CMS or other mushroom clubs). Each group will carpool to a predetermined location and then split up into smaller collecting teams. It is the responsibility of the individual groups to arrange carpooling. The group leaders will provide the collectors in their group with wax paper bags and collection tags for the mushrooms they find. Carpool drivers will be given a fee waiver letter that will admit that car and its occupants into the park. Each team leader will be emailed in advance of the mycoblitz a research permit that they must have in their possession while their team is in the field collecting.

Each collecting team will have a number of important responsibilities. They will bring back a single collection of each species they encounter. A collection will consist of a few specimens of a single genus in a variety of developmental stages, if possible. A collection tag will be filled out and placed in a bag with each species. The collection tag will include which location they went to, the approximate elevation, habitat, nearby trees, etc. Between 1 and 2 p.m. the groups will meet back at McLaren Hall for identification of their collections. Dr. Michael Kuo and Vera Evenson, Chief Curator for the Herbarioum of Fungi at the Denver Botanic Gardens will be the chief identifiers. They will be assisted by a small team of knowledgeable identifiers from CMS. The identification process will be similar to how it is done at our annual CMS mushroom fair: mushrooms will be sorted, identified, documented, and finally packaged for the herbarium. To finish off the day, we will have a round-table discussion of the mushrooms we find - the mycoblitz will also be a learning experience. Top

 

Lodging — Those planning to join the mycoblitz for both Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may wish to stay over in the Estes Park area. There is wide variety of options for lodging. Information on lodging near the research station (RV campgrounds, hotels, etc.) can be found here under "Gateway Community Associations".

Camping: Participants in the mycoblitz who wish to have free camping in RMNP must let us know well ahead of time. Please contact Rob Halleck at 720-480-4452 or rob.hallock at ucdenver.edu if you wish to camp on Thursday night, Friday night, or Saturday night.. RMNP is providing us with a group campsite (sites EC and EG) in a special volunteers campground that is part of the Moraine Park Campground (see map). The volunteers campground has toilets, a fresh water spigot, and several bear-proof food caches. Campers are expected to bring their own camping equipment and adhere to RMNP rules for camping. Please do not bring any pets.

Motels: More information about available motels in the Estes Park area is available here. Estes Park is very busy in August so make your reservations early.

RV Campgrounds: More information about available campgrounds for RVs is available here. Several of these campgrounds also have tent camping areas and fees for campsites are slightly more than the fees for campsites in RMNP. Typically they have bathhouses which include showers. Top

 
Food — No meals will be provided as part of the mycoblitz. Participants are required to provide their own food for the duration of their stay. Please plan accordingly. There will be water available at the research station. Collectors in the field may want to carry a pack lunch with them. Food at the Park is limited, but there is a snack bar and small store near the Park just east of the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. A complete list of Goods and Services available at the Park can be found at here. Top
 

What You Will Need To Bring

Equipment for collecting:

  • Wax paper bags will be provided by CMS.
  • Collection tags for mushrooms will be provided by CMS. Top

Personal Equipment to Bring (see the CMS Forays page for more Information):

  • Basket or sturdy paper bag — No plastic (mushrooms can’t breathe in plastic) or mesh sacks (your specimens will get squished).
  • Knife — A sturdy knife with a lanyard or string to attach to your person. It's uncanny how knives get lost.
  • Small hand scoop — useful for removing the entire mushroom base.
  • Pen — You’ll need to write down information about each collection you pick.
    Whistle — Useful for keeping in touch with other members of the foray group.
  • Compass or GPS — Carry one and know how to use it. It is very easy to get lost when you are concentrating on finding mushrooms and not watching your surroundings.
  • Rain Gear — Be prepared for inclement weather.
  • Fluids and food —Be aware that you will be in the woods for approximately 3 hours looking for mushrooms. Bring as much food and water as necessary for and others accompanying you. Top

Recommended:

  • Two way radio — You can keep in contact with other groups to call them over to a special mushroom or let them know what you have collected so they don’t duplicate the species you find. You can monitor communication so you don’t duplicate species being collected.
  • Mushroom book or key — The more resources we have on site, the easier we will be able to ID our mushrooms.
  • Camera — We would like to have photos of our mushroom collections in the field. Top

Do not bring:

  • Pets — Please do not bring any pets. Pets will not be allowed on the mycoblitz. Top
 

Volunteers Required — Below is a list of volunteer roles that we require along with the specific responsibilities for those positions and the requisite knowledge of mushrooms you should have for those positions. Top

Collector: Individual collectors will go out with a small group to collect mushrooms from approximately 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Everyone in this small group is expected to stay together and bring back one good collection of each species encountered. All collections will need a collection tag completely filled out. After returning to the research station, all collectors will place one collection on a single plate and put them on the table for sorting. All collectors agree that they will not take any mushrooms outside the park. Top

Group leader: Leaders will lead their group to a location to look for mushrooms from approximately 10 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m.. Group leaders will be given a map and directions to a specific location, wax paper bags, and collection tags for their group. They will be responsible for making sure their group of 5 stays together, give additional instructions as needed, and coordinate with the other small group at their location to bring back one good collection of each species. Group leaders need not be experts in mushroom identification, but should be seasoned mushroom hunters. Each group leader will be issued a research permit for their group which must be in their posssession while in the field collecting. Top

Sorter: Help collectors coming back from their trips with putting specimens on plates and make sure that all necessary information is on the collection tags. The sorters should be able to group similar mushrooms together (i.e. polypores, toothed mushrooms, amanitas, etc) and keep things organized for the ID team. Sorters will also place identified and recorded mushrooms on tables for general viewing. Sorters need not be expert identifiers, but should be able to group similar kinds of mushrooms together. Top

Identifier: Work with the Identification team on identification. This is the only task at the mycoblitz that requires serious knowledge of mushrooms. Top

Recorder: Enter the scientific names of mushrooms into a spreadsheet on a laptop. This job will require a general familiarity in dealing with Latin names of mushrooms (or in the very least, not an aversion to the Latin names). Top

Cleanup: Stay an hour on Sunday afternoon to package mushrooms for the herbarium and clean up the room. This job requires no knowledge of mushrooms. Top

Onsite Registration Table: This person will keep track of who is present and make sure everyone has a nametag. This job requires no knowledge of mushrooms. Top

Photographer: We need several people to help with making a photographic record of the mushroom finds. You should have experience in photographing mushrooms. You should also have basic equipment for photographing mushrooms including a digital camera, flash, and tripod. This job requires no knowledge of mushrooms, but you should have experience taking pictures of mushrooms, plants, or flowers. Top

 
CMS would like to thank Henryk Sadura for giving permission to use his photograph "Beaver Ponds Reflections". Copyright © Henryk Sadura.

 


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